Grey Power gets more than NZ pensioners

Thursday May 29, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Grey Power members protest the Government's moves to 'backtax' their NZ-paid pensions earlier this year. 14040243 Grey Power members protest the Government's moves to 'backtax' their NZ-paid pensions earlier this year. 14040243

Dear Editor, In his letter recently Don Reid stated that the 350 Grey Power members collect $5.5 million a year from the NZ taxpayer. 

Good on you. The CIP government and the NZ government last year reached agreement to remove the one-year NZ residency criteria for those turning 65 before being able to collect the NZ pension.

The government is also working on getting NZ to agree to waive the five years NZ residency criteria for those over 50 years as well. This is a good move. We want more Cook Islanders to be able to collect their pension here at home in our islands just as if they were living in NZ.

Read Don Reid's letter here.

But it does seem strange that some members of Grey Power would happily pay tax to the New Zealand government if they were collecting the pension in New Zealand, yet refuse to contribute to the tax of our own country. They receive free doctors’ visits, free medicine, free medical referral to NZ just like all the locals. The CIP government was also ready to table the required legislation to change the law to waive the back tax for all NZ pensioners and restore money taken from bank accounts. But alas were foiled by the One Cook Islands members who stayed in Aitutaki and forced a snap election.

We have more than 1700 locals collecting our local pension. When the CIP came to government the local pension was $400 a month. This government has increased the pension to $500 for those between the ages of 60 to 69.  It has increased the over 70s pension to $625 a month. And will keep increasing it to reach the goal of $800 month for all over 70s. This is not the action of a cruel government as claimed by Mr Reid.

Greypower members in the Cook Islands collect $1824 for a single person or $2746 a married couple per month. In New Zealand the same pensioners collect $1588 and $2446 per month because they pay their tax. You are already way ahead of the locals and way ahead of NZ pensioners. I would be happy if I was getting this money.

Just be thankful you don’t collect the Aussie pension – you have to wait till you are 70 before you can collect. 

Go Local

(Name and address supplied)

5 comments

  • Comment Link Vili Lolie Taulilo Tuesday, 12 August 2014 07:19 posted by Vili Lolie Taulilo

    This C.I.P. have gone the opposite of Our Great Founder of the Party Sir, Albert Henry in looking after the Old People. In so much as why asking the question, What can we do to bring our old people back to bring their money and spent it here in the Cook Islands. Well some of the old have come back to spent Their few remaining years in the Cook Islands and also spent all their pension just to survive, going to the Foodland Super Market yes we all know the price of food an the old have to carefully budget till the next Pension among other things. And they have worked hard in NZ and Australia paying taxes and the Financial Support in which these Gov. have given not only the Cook Islands but the Pacific Nation have all come from these Oldies paying their taxes have come here to spend their last days at Home. And since the Grey Power movement a few have passed on. There are more important issue for the Gov, to look at rather hurting our old People.

  • Comment Link William Taramai Saturday, 07 June 2014 01:34 posted by William Taramai

    The Aussie pension should be transportable to the Cooks so more of our people can return to the Cooks. But its not despite boastful comments by the Australia High Commssioner during Apec of "closer" working relationship with the Cooks. What working relationship? How about drafting up a reciprical agreement with the Cooks Government and set our elderly free to return with their pensions.

  • Comment Link William Taramai Saturday, 07 June 2014 00:58 posted by William Taramai

    Akari ma, these grey power members deserve more respect than what is being said. These members paid for the free medical cost in NZ that is currently accessed by drunken idiots on the Cooks Road and flown to NZ for treatment. They also made enormous contributions TAX during their working years in NZ that are now being dished out towards local infrastructures. You critics must learn the word Foreign Aid before picking on the elderly. I can assure you its not McCullys money nor John Keys. Its tax paid for by the grey power during their working years abroad. Campaign for full independence instead of the current self governing status unless of course you critics are happy with the status of muppets for NZ.

  • Comment Link JJ Hackers Friday, 30 May 2014 10:22 posted by JJ Hackers

    Think all these grey power members should move back to NZ.. It's unfair to our local pensioners whom they only receive $400-$800 a month.. Full free medical services, doctors and even medical referrals should only be for our pensioners that pay there taxes not for grey power. Grey power pensioners earn 2-3 times more than our local pensioners. How abot we start charging these grey power pensioners for medical services, referrals at there own cost, doctor visits $150 and medicines at $50, road usage $250, water $80 per month. All these cost works out to the amount of taxes they ment to be taxed at..

  • Comment Link Tereora Tapaitau Friday, 30 May 2014 04:04 posted by Tereora Tapaitau

    Go local can pay their tax for them then...These are our elders let them enjoy their retirements they earn it.If you are an elder you should be supporting them not against them...without out elders we wouldnt be here...

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