GOLD CARD PROGRESS 20.4.16
I have just returned from Christchurch Grey Power AGM.
Wednesday 20th we were addressed by the Minister for Senior Citizens Maggie Barry and among other issues like Elder abuse, she spoke about the Gold card and touting how it is good are the changes that National is making, but we made it clear to her we were not happy about the changes! Especially regarding the bus and ferry transport issues of how in every town/city we would have to go and pay $10 for a local smart card to be able to use these services, even when using at the off peak times.
Many elderly who have lost their drivers license or have no car rely on these off peak services.
We said we didn’t want a number of different cards, finally she said ‘well we could make the gold card into a smart card with everything loaded onto it and a photo for ID.’ So we said yes that’s just what we want, just one card! Personally I am not a fan of smart cards [agenda 21], but it’s the way of the world. Many older people need a photo ID card, as once they have lost their drivers license they have no ID card to use.
So Ms Barry has said she would go away and do the costing’s on this new SGC card and come back to us, so lets hope she does right by us!
We also had Winston Peters speak to us and he was saying ‘Tell government, hands of our SUPER GOLD CARD they can’t be trusted!’
I had already asked Simon Bridges about how our Gold card SGC which has a black strip on the back and why cant that be activated. I still haven’t had a reply!
GOLD CARD CHANGES:- Grey Power Report 29.2.16
Associations and their members will be aware of the Government’s move to change the funding mechanism for Super Gold Card (SGC) travel and to make other changes to the administration and operation of this scheme.
Several areas of this proposal have caused concern to Grey Power. These include a cap on funding for five years (CPI adjustment only); the potential for cost transfer from central Govt. to regional councils, and the potential impact of the requirement to use electronic ticketing on the universality of the scheme.
The relevant Federation Board Committees have been pursuing these issues on your behalf and will continue to do so. Actions taken and positions reached to date are as follows.
No loss of Access
As noted in the report on the October advocacy visit, this issue was discussed with the Minister, Simon Bridges, and we obtained an assurance that none of the changes will affect access. This is reflected in current documentation eg New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) allocation methodology principles “access of SGC holders to the scheme is not affected”1
NZTA has been tasked with developing a funding model in conjunction with regional councils, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and other stakeholders. We will be making a submission to NZTA as major stakeholder on your behalf. We are also in contact with LGNZ and various regional councils throughout the country to ensure our viewpoint is heard. NZTA’s preferred option does give more money to the regions at the expense of the main Centre’s, which together with the lifting of the moratorium on new services could help address, the concern about the lack of services there. However it will be down to local associations to lobby for those services within their area.
We understand from regional councils that NZTA’s proposed option for funding allocation has allayed some concerns regarding cost transfer, and note that provision has now been made for increased funding above CPI if “robust data and evidence is provided to support the need”2.
1 Engagement on the development of a sustainable SuperGold funding allocation pg 5 principles 2 Engagement on the development of a sustainable SuperGold funding allocation pg 4 Background
Electronic card requirement.
One of our main concerns has been that the requirement for the use of an electronic ticket could undermine the universality of the SGC travel scheme, and add considerable end user cost. To date the Ministry of Transport (MoT) has softened the original proposal to introduce this requirement immediately, to the extent that it is now up to Regional Councils when this requirement is introduced. Our concern is that their change is more to do with the practicalities of implementation for regional councils than an attempt to address the problem of universality.
We will raise this issue specifically with the Minister, and will also continue to advocate directly with MOT on this point.
We would ask that all associations to also lobby their regional councils to ensure that mandatory electronic ticketing is delayed until obtaining one is possible for visitors before they need one eg at the airport, station etc and that there is no requirement to keep a cash balance. This is particularly relevant for Auckland associations and members.
Here’s your chance members write or email: email@example.com Minister of Transport
Or Regional council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make your objection known: Leave our Gold Card alone!
Also email: Maggie Barry- Maggie.email@example.com
Minister of Senior citizens