Annual Report 2012

Improved quality of life for older people

We want to encourage more New Zealanders to make the most of the knowledge and experience this valuable generation has to offer and to increase independence and greater choice for older people.

Caring for older people and keeping them connected

Positive Ageing Strategy

The Positive Ageing Strategy encourages New Zealanders to recognise older people are an integral part of families, communities, society and the economy.

In 2011/2012, as part of the strategy, we worked with district health boards and key non-government organisations to report on their initiatives to provide a more comprehensive picture of positive ageing. This information is available on our website and is of particular interest to central and local government and older people’s organisations.

Reducing social isolation

During 2011/2012, we worked with key stakeholders in Napier to support the development of a community-led initiative to address social isolation. Napier was selected because the key stakeholders have a strong presence and they were willing to develop a framework that could be adapted by other communities to help improve the quality of life for older people.

To initiate this work, the Minister for Senior Citizens attended a meeting with representatives of Napier’s community organisations in June 2012. The ideas raised at this meeting are being worked through and will be used by community organisations and leaders in the Napier area to develop a range of activities to reduce social isolation for older people.

The Napier initiative encourages older people who are socially isolated or at risk of becoming so, to get involved in a wider range of activities in their community to improve their social connectedness and social participation.

Supporting older people to remain active in their communities

We provide a range of intergenerational programmes to enable children and young people to benefit from the life experience of older New Zealanders.

SAGES is a community-based mentoring programme that taps into the life experiences and knowledge of older New Zealanders. In 2011/2012, we provided over $1 million in funding to 15 community groups to connect 189 SAGES mentors to 758 individuals and families who need help and support.

Link Age is an online resource produced by the Ministry’s Office for Senior Citizens to promote intergenerational learning programmes through volunteering in schools and community organisations. Primary schools have been targeted, through the Education Gazette, to promote the Link Age resource and to gain agreement to showcase their intergenerational initiatives online.

We have also encouraged schools to arrange activities to bring young and older people together each October for Greats and Grands Month. The aim of this is to build positive relationships and understanding between the generations. Opportunities are available for young and older people to have fun together and to exchange learning and skills, enabling older people to be involved in their local school.

Through SAGES, people can develop their skills in home management, cooking, budgeting and parenting.

Improving older people's wellbeing

Supporting those who care for older people

In 2011/2012, we provided over $1 million for education to the aged care sector, other professionals with an interest in older people, and informal carers. Age Concern New Zealand co-ordinates the delivery of 24 community groups to deliver elder abuse and neglect prevention services to 4,038 clients. The services aim to prevent or reduce the incidence of abuse or neglect through direct assistance to older people, their families and carers, and through public and professional education.

On a larger scale, we used our successful community-driven It's Not OK campaign to stop family violence directed towards older people in New Zealand.

The latest It’s Not OK messaging and social media have featured older people as influencers and helpers within the family.

Improving access to entitlements


This year we delivered New Zealand Superannuation to over 598,000 New Zealanders and the Veterans’ Pension to around 9,500 New Zealanders.

We have made it easier for clients to access our services. Some 12,663 applications for New Zealand Superannuation were made online. We have also actively encouraged clients to give us their email addresses so we can provide them with information about their financial entitlements and special SuperGold Card offers. As at 30 June 2012, we held over 121,000 email addresses. This is an increase of around 57 per cent compared to the same time last year.

In 2011/2012, we processed around 59,000 new applications for New Zealand Superannuation, interviewed 128,000 clients, and took 349,000 telephone calls.

Expanding the benefits of SuperGold Card

At 30 June 2012, there were 596,718 SuperGold cardholders who were able to access savings from 3,665 participating businesses operating in 7,930 business outlets. This is an increase of 173 per cent on the 1,342 participating businesses at the same time last year.

This year, reciprocal arrangements for the SuperGold Card and the eight Australian State and Territory Seniors Cards were finalised, allowing cardholders access to commercial discounts on both sides of the Tasman.

This year SuperGold cardholders made 10.6 million off-peak trips on public transport.

Keeping older people informed

At the Age Concern National Conference in March 2012, we launched the Services for Seniors brochure. This is a comprehensive all-in-one guide to our products and those of other agencies for seniors. The brochure provides information to older people about the range of entitlements and services that are available from the Ministry, from other agencies and from non-government organisations.

We also use online and email channels to keep older people informed. In 2011/2012, we updated our SuperGold Card and Seniors websites to make it easier for people to check for up-to-date information about our services and special SuperGold Card promotions.

The future

Our work to deliver against this outcome in 2011/2012 has positioned us well to contribute to the cross-sector response to achieve Better Public Services
Result 10: New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the Government easily in a digital environment.

2011–2014 Statement of Intent Performance Indicators

Improved quality of life for older people




Intermediate Outcome – Older people access their entitlements more easily

Take up of online services


(No trend available)

New measure for 2011/2012.

Intent: Increasing.

Almost 29 per cent (12,663) of New Zealand Superannuation applications were lodged online.

Intermediate Outcome – Increased awareness of elder abuse and neglect

Number attending elder abuse and neglect seminars



Intent: Increasing.

Awareness of elder abuse and neglect continued to increase, with 8,817 individuals receiving elder abuse advice, education and support this year. Last year, 4,386 attended elder abuse and neglect seminars.

Intermediate Outcome – More older people are in the workforce

Number of activities promoting the value of older people in the workforce


(No trend available)

New measure for 2011/2012.

Intent: Increasing.

Activities promoting the value of older people in the workforce included promoting:

  • the International Day of Older Persons, which included activities highlighting the value of older people in the workforce
  • the Business of Ageing Research Report to colleagues, external agencies and non-government organisations.




Intermediate Outcome – More older people remain active in the community

Percentage of older people aged 65 and over who undertook voluntary work


(No trend available)

New measure for 2011/2012.

Intent: Increasing.

The result for this indicator was not updated in 2011/2012 as expected, due to the cancellation of the 2011 Census following the Christchurch earthquake.

Source: Statistics New Zealand: Household Labour Force Survey, New Zealand’s 65+ Population: A Statistical Volume, 2007.

[1] The percentage of 17.3 per cent shown in the Ministry’s 2011–2014 Statement of Intent was incorrectly calculated for this indicator.

Annual Report 2012

Related links

Print this page.