Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin announced today plans to upgrade and enhance the SuperGold Card including building a new digital platform for card holders and businesses at a budgeted cost of $7.7 million.
“New Zealand’s over 65s really appreciate the SuperGold Card,” says Martin. “They particularly value the travel concessions and shopping discounts.
“The reality is however, it’s been neglected for several years and it’s harder and harder for people to know where they can use it.”
The Minister said the SuperGold website, which hasn’t been updated for six years, would be upgraded and easier to use. A new SuperGold app, linked to the website, would also be created to help show seniors where the card can be used when they are out. These will be launched before the end of 2019.
Businesses – currently there are more than 9,300 businesses with around 14,000 outlets offering SuperGold discounts – will also be able to interact with the website better and they will also be provided with standard promotions like posters so people can see where they can get discounts.
“The opportunity that doing these things and revitalising the card creates, is to find more discounts,” the Minister says. “There will be one million over 65s within the next decade, which presents a very large consumer group.
“I want to talk to – and hear from – businesses who want to access and help older New Zealanders.”
Martin said that a key goal of enhancing the card was to help seniors on fixed incomes to stretch their dollar further so they could buy the services and products they need.
The Wellbeing Budget also contains new money for Digital Literacy Training for seniors, and provides for ACC changes that better support working superannuitants who are injured.
The Minister said that our ageing population and increasing technology change meant that some older people who no longer work are getting left behind.
“The Budget contains $600,000 to provide some computer training and skills for those who need it. We want older people to be able to access information and services online, and not miss out. And we want them to have the technology skills to stay in touch with their families.”
The ACC changes, which will begin on 1 July, will mean that those older people who are still working and are seriously injured will no longer have to choose between receiving NZ Superannuation or ACC weekly payments.
“At the moment if someone is eligible for Super or the Veteran’s Pension they have to make that choice,” Minister Martin says. “We’re changing that. If an older person is entitled to weekly ACC compensation for a personal injury, they will be able to receive those payments along with NZ Super or the Veteran’s Pension for up to two years.
“This allows an injured person’s financial situation to more closely reflect their income. That’s only fair – especially as we are going to increasingly want older people to stay in paid work if they want to.”