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The new closing date of a petition aiming to better protect older members of our society is May 3.
Former Christchurch city councillor and EQ Insurance Advocate Ali Jones, who at the end of February launched the petition, is asking Parliament to look at legislation that currently doesn’t protect elderly people in rest homes from being kicked out.
Jones says the recent decision from the Government’s retirement village watchdog, the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), that residents of the Merivale Retirement Village should have given their residents much longer notice that they had to move, is positive but doesn’t go far enough.
“Students in flats are better protected than our most vulnerable members of society. Of course students need protection too but when you have one of the most vulnerable groups in society with virtually no security of tenure, then something’s wrong,” she says.
Jones started the petition after reports of a significant number of Merivale Retirement Village rest home residents, receiving letters giving them a month’s notice that they need to find new accommodation or pay additional to secure a place in a new facility being built by the current providers.
“This isn’t about the Merivale Retirement Village situation per se; this is about a law for a group of particularly vulnerable New Zealanders. We need to protect our elderly much better than we currently do and that requires a legislative response hence starting a parliamentary petition,” she says. “We know the government can move quickly with legislation and that’s encouraging.”
Originally the closing date was March 25th however with recent events in Christchurch, she was contacted by a number of people asking that she extend the closing date to allow more people to become aware of it and sign.
The petition went live on the Parliamentary website on the 27th February and now closes on May 3.