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I was pleased to be appointed as National’s Seniors spokesperson (with a small promotion in our ranks) recently, adding to my previous roles as Shadow Attorney-General and ACC spokesperson. I will be busy meeting with a range of aged care organisations around the country in coming months and listening to their concerns. No doubt that will include many Grey Power events!

I’ve been active in the area around the Alison Street / Kahikatea Drive / South City Health intersection lately, discussing options to achieve safer traffic flows. It’s a dangerous area for drivers, cyclists and commuters and I’ve started a petition urging authorities to make improvements urgently. The petition has already been signed by several hundred people. Please let me know if you would like to help collect signatures. I’m also leading a campaign to make the Dinsdale Roundabout safer.

Also, as National’s ACC spokesperson, I’m promoting a petition to support those who still need to pay bills by cheque. Many older people, and others living in remote areas without adequate internet coverage, still rely on that method of payment, but the IRD, ACC and some other agencies are no longer willing to accept cheques. I believe it’s fairer to allow customers to continue doing so until natural attrition sees the eventual demise of cheques as a payment option.

Recent media reports have been dominated by developments in the international Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak.  While the Prime Minister and Health Minister keep asserting that everything is under control, our government was much too slow to instigate screening programmes at airports and cruise ship ports and, at the time of writing, their public information campaign is almost non-existent.

I asked a question in Parliament to highlight the valid concerns of the NZ Aged Care Association and the Retirement Villages Association about abysmal communication with those organisations (who represent the interests of New Zealanders who are most vulnerable to Covid-19) and a failure to provide essential supplies, but the Minister of Health failed to respond to those concerns – and the Speaker objected to my question!

Please ignore ill-informed claims on social media. The best places to obtain accurate and regularly-updated information on Covid-19 are the Ministry of Health or WHO websites.


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