“New Zealand’s senior citizens haven’t worked hard and paid taxes their whole lives to live in a country where crime is out of control, the health system is in crisis, and those who hope that at least the future might be brighter for their grandchildren are frustrated by the failures of the education system and welfare state,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT has a plan to turn around the poor state of this country’s public services so New Zealand’s seniors are looked after and proud of the way this country treats them.

“ACT has announced extensive policy to restore law and order, put victims at the heart of the justice system, and impose tougher consequences on criminals.

“We have also proposed a range of policies to ease the health workforce crisis, including increasing funding for GP clinics so doctors can see more patients and recognising the credentials of medical professionals from countries with comparable healthcare systems.

“Seniors are poorly served by a government agency that doesn’t have the ability to fix anything for them. The Retirement Commission is a quango that achieves very little for the taxpayer funding it gets. It should be focussed on issues that directly affect seniors.

“Under ACT, the reformed Retirement Commission would be responsible for advising on and advancing policies to improve the Retirement Villages Act 2003 such as the effectiveness of disclosure statements; occupation right agreements; maintenance and repair of operator-owned chattels and fixtures; complaints and disputes regime; and obligations when a resident moves out of the retirement home.

“We would also require the Retirement Commission to develop a policy framework that would enable greater autonomy over how in-home care funding is spent. Individualised funding of in-home care would enable older people and their families to organise and manage their care in a way that most appropriately suits their needs, fitting with their lifestyle and empowering them to make their own choices about service providers.

“Older New Zealanders have noticed that being able to find an over the counter cold and flu medication that actually helps is getting harder. In 2011, the Government banned a number of over-the-counter medicines. Pseudoephedrine was banned because of fears it would be used for P production and following assurances there would be alternatives. Instead, the evidence shows that gangs continue to produce P, and there are no viable alternatives for people who are unwell.

“We will reverse the ban on over-the-counter pseudoephedrine. We will also require post-implementation evaluations of pharmacist-only and prescription-only classifications for medicines used to cure common ailments.

“Older people are worried about the direction the country is going as a whole. Will New Zealand still be a good place for their grandchildren to grow up and build a life that is even better than the generations that came before them? ACT will restore the values and aspiration that made New Zealand the plucky nation that it once was, where everyone has the opportunity for a proper education and a chance to get ahead.”

ACT's Seniors policy is here.

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