Should Māori receive superannuation at a lower age?

By Heta Gardiner

The age for superannuation in New Zealand will be going up. The Prime Minister announced the change in the past hour and a half. But the elderly won't be affected in the foreseeable future. 

Bill English says, “Cabinet today decided to progressively increase the age of eligibility for New Zealand Super to 67 starting in 20 years’ time.”

The superannuation age will rise to 67 but it won't take effect until 2037. The Prime Minster has been questioned vigorously by the media on this issue, since he hinted at a reset of the superannuation.

“I think given the significance of the New Zealand superannuation to all New Zealanders, this is the opportunity for it to be tested by an election. It’s one we're happy to see put to the test,” says English.

Labour supports a call from the Māori Party to have the superannuation age lowered for Māori because their live expectancy is lower the non-Māori.

Peeni Henare says, “I think about my father. He worked hard he paid his taxes but he died before getting the superannuation so I support that idea.”

Labour supports the idea, but also says that alternative methods to achieve the same goal can be achieved.

“If the Government doesn't adjust the superannuation age for Māori then they should invest in health for Māori people and ensure that our life expectancy is on par with non-Māori,” says Henare.

Labour have been staunch advocates for raising the superannuation age for the past two elections.

But they've flipped the script and now say it should stay the same. The Tāmaki-Makaurau MP says it is a directive that has come directly from the top.

“In the past, this issue was on the table but from the beginning of his reign as leader (Andrew Little) he's said the superannuation age will not be moving,” says Henare.