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Super Portability For Pacific People Begins

As of tomorrow Pacific Island recipients of New Zealand superannuation will be entitled to receive their payments in the islands, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Pacific Islands Minister Tuariki John Delamere said today.

Mrs Shipley and Mr Delamere met with leaders of the Pacific Island community to mark the start of the new policy which was announced earlier this year.

"We made the decision to introduce the policy once the economic conditions were right, and I'm pleased to see it finally come to fruition.

"The policy recognises the significant contribution of Pacific people living in New Zealand. Many have lived here and paid taxes all their working lives and it is only right they should be able to retire to the islands with a pension."

The initiative means Pacific Island people who have been resident in New Zealand for 20 years (including at least five years after the age of 50) will be eligible to receive their superannuation in the Islands. Up to 135 people are expected to receive an immediate increase in their New Zealand Super payments as a result of the policy.

Mrs Shipley acknowledged the work of Mr Delamere, Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon, and National List MP Arthur Anae, in bringing the policy to completion.

The Pacific Island leaders who met Mrs Shipley and Mr Delamere were: Mr Maposua Fani Lima (Samoa), Mrs Reva Fergusson (Cook Islands), Mr Sione Palu (Tonga), Mrs Moka Sipeli (Niue) and Mrs Akisi Renner (Fiji).

ENDS

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