A lack of recognised identification documents is becoming an issue for some Bay elderly, Grey Power says.

Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Grey Power president Jennifer Custins said there were many older people did not have photo identification because they did not have an up-to-date passport or a current driver's licence.

"You can have a photograph put on your national Super Card... So it forms identity for quite a range of things but if you want to go into a bank and use it as your formal ID, they are not geared up to accept that."

She hoped when the Government changed the format of the SuperGold Card, it would become a recognised form of identification.


However, there were usually other ways around providing identification, she said

"You can have your full birth certificate, and if you had a photograph of you on your Gold Card, it might not be a recognised, instantaneous form, but it does help authorities decide you are who you say you are."

New Zealand Senior's Party spokesperson Paul Rea said he knew of older people who did not have credit cards or driving licences.

"I would assume in that situation they would have difficultly," he said.

However, he thought making the SuperGold Card into a certified from of photo identification was not a good alternative.

"The GoldCard would not be one I would be looking at... The way the SuperGold card is going at the moment, how long are we going to have it?"

"There must be other means out there for identification. The simpler the better. I think there are always ways around this, in a fair and equitable world."

Katikati Grey Power convener Baden Jury said the issue of losing valid photo identification affected some in the community "tremendously".

"When people get to those latter years, they have to forgo their driver's licence and passport. Those are the two main ID that are requests. Some people wanting to open new accounts, one woman had trouble opening new account in her own bank of 40 years."

He estimated about 1,000 people would be affected by the issue of lack of identification.

He said a card which could be given after their drivers' license was ended could be a possibility.

"At the time they hand their license in... They could exchange and walk out with an 18+ card or a card that has been certified," he said.

Tauranga-based NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell said he could understand how a lack of identification could be a major issue for some elderly people.

"To be honest the best thing to do right now would be to get an 18-plus card," he said, as the card was a recognised form of identification.

Mr Mitchell said he and NZ First supported the idea of putting photo I.D. on SuperGold Cards, saying it was a positive outcome to get more investment into the supergold card.

"It would be more fit for purpose with more information about the holder on the card."

It would be a good investment by the government, "if they could see the sense in doing it."