• Uncategorised

Government to spend almost $8 million on a new website and creating a SuperGold card app – New Zealand Herald

The Government will spend $7.7 million on upgrading and enhancing the SuperGold card after years of the scheme being "neglected".

It will also be shelling out more than half a million dollars to pay for a digital literacy program to give seniors computer skills training.

NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the changes to the GoldCard would make it a "super, SuperGold card".

Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin who made the pre-Budget announcement this morning, emphasised how important the scheme was for over 65-year-olds in New Zealand.

According to the latest figures, there are more than 750,000 SuperGold cardholders across the country.

But Martin said the SuperGold card system had been neglected for years and it has been getting harder for people to know how to use it.

"The Government is doing something about that."

As part of the $7.7m upgrade, the SuperGold card website – which hasn't been updated for six years – would receive a revamp to make it easier to use.

A new SuperGold card app will also be created. It will link to the website and help show senior citizens where the card can be used.

In 2017, some 350,000 SuperGold carder holders used a smartphone.

The app and the revamped website will be launched at the end of this year.

Martin said the re-launch of the website would come as good news to businesses who offer discounts to SuperGold cardholders.

There are almost 10,000 businesses across the country that offer discounts. The new website would mean the businesses would be better able to promote their products, and advertise discounts and promotions.

"There will be one million over-65s within the next decade, which presents a very large consumer group," Martin said.

The SuperGold card was a scheme launched by NZ First leader Winston Peters in 2006.

It was key element of the 2005 confidence and supply agreement between NZ First and Labour.

Speaking to media after delivering a speech at Grey Power's annual meeting today, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the Government was giving the card a "serious revamp".

"The world has changed, all sorts of technologies have changed and we're going to bring it up today and [make it] a super, SuperGold card."

Asked about the $7.7m spend, Peters said it was "actually a modest figure" and the Government had initially thought it would cost $9m to roll out the scheme.

Peters said there was "no doubt" that there is a bias against seniors when it comes to the use of technology.

He wouldn't say if he would personally be participating in any courses but did say that he had had a hand in designing one of the courses.

Grey Power president Mac Welch welcomed the announcement.

"Any improvements with the gold card will be well received by Grey Power members. The SuperGold card is seen as a benefit for [Grey Power] members, so obviously it's something they're going to be pleased with."

He said the SuperGold gives seniors some recognition for the job they have done for New Zealand.

"The fact that they have worked hard and built the country – now they're kicking back a bit and getting a little thank you for that."

Meanwhile, the Government will also be providing $600,000 in the Budget to provide digital literacy training for seniors.

"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," Martin said.

The Budget announcement today comes a month before ACC changes, which mean older people who are still working and are seriously injured will no longer have to choose between receiving NZ Superannuation or ACC weekly payments.

You may also like...