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Have your say on the Social Assistance Bill

Have your say on the Social Assistance (Residency Qualifications) Legislation Bill

The Social Services and Community Committee is seeking submissions on the Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill. The bill would change the residential qualifications for New Zealand superannuation and the veterans’ pension for eligible New Zealanders in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

Under the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 and Veterans’ Support Act 2014, eligible New Zealanders can receive their New Zealand superannuation and veteran’s pension in the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau. A 2015 amendment to these provisions allowed people in these countries aged 65 years or over to apply from the islands, rather than living in New Zealand at the time of their application. This was on the condition that they had spent 10 years in New Zealand since the age of 20, and five years since the age of 50.

The bill would change the requirement for people to live in New Zealand for five years after the age of 50. Instead, people could reside in any combination of New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

Gareth Hughes, Chair of the Social Services and Community Committee, said: "New Zealand has long historical, social and cultural connections with the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau and this bill would change the residential requirements for superannuation and veterans’ pensions. The Committee is looking forward to hearing from those affected.”

Tell the Social Services and Community Committee what you think

Send your submission on the bill by midnight on Wednesday 23 May 2018.

For more details about the bill:

Read the full contents of the bill

Get more details on the bill


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