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Clark to seek support from Upper Hutt Grey Power

Grey Power Media Release: 21 July 2005

Helen Clark to seek support from Upper Hutt Grey Power

Grey Power Federation’s well-established policy of strict political neutrality has paid off with personal speaking engagements to Upper Hutt City by both Prime Minister Helen Clark and National leader Don Brash.

“I’ve always tried to get party leaders to talk to us. They know their policy and they make a better presentation, ” says Max Becker, president of Grey Power’s Upper Hutt Association. “I think if the organization is seriously impartial, you stand a much better chance of getting top-level speakers.

“In the past I’ve been involved with campaign meetings where all the parties are represented by lower level candidates, and it has turned into a bun fight. We want answers, not just election rhetoric.” Mr Becker said NZ First leader Winston Peters also spoke at a public meeting in Upper Hutt City.

Don Brash spoke to a full-house public meeting hosted by Grey Power earlier this month, and fielded a number of searching questions from the audience. Helen Clark will be speaking next Wednesday (27 July) at 2pm at the Hapai Club Rooms on Fergusson Drive, adjacent to the Police Station. The Hall will seat 200 people.

People attending the meeting are urged to come early. “I’m inviting Grey Power association presidents from around the Wellington region. I’m certain we will attract a lot more people, but we have to be careful because of fire regulations.”

Mr Becker said speech topics were left up to the speakers, “although we do have some special concerns here. We have just over 37,000 people in the city, and the closest hospital is in Lower Hutt. We have an after-hours medical centre, but it closes at 10pm. This isn’t good for a lot of our older members.” Mr Becker said there is also a growing concern about recent sales of pensioner flats in the city.

The New Zealand Grey Power Federation has developed an election strategy that focuses on five key issues, which includes hospital waiting lists, energy costs, law and order, local government rate increases and superannuation. All parties have been asked to address these issues.

There are 76 Grey Power associations throughout the country with a total membership of more than 90,000 active members. NZ Grey Power is recognised as a leading support organization for many of the three-quarters of a million retired New Zealanders.


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