Horowhenua Grey Power has invited representatives from all political parties to attend a public meeting in Levin ahead of next month's general election.
Elderly residents hold a significant slice of the vote in the Ōtaki electorate, and top of the list of concern for Grey Power was housing affordability, superannuation, home-based healthcare and rising rate levels.
Horowhenua Grey Power president Terry Hemmingsen was urging Grey Power and members of the community to attend the meeting, and said they had already had positive responses from six political parties indicating they would be attending.
Hemmingsen said the purpose of the meeting was to better inform members of each party's policy relating to the needs of senior citizens and the wider community.
He had a long list of questions lined up on behalf of the organisation. Home-based health support was a major area of concern and Grey Power was keen to ask each party questions relating to home support, he said.
"It saves the New Zealand taxpayer a lot of money by enabling people to live at home and is less costly than hospital or residential care," he said.
"Home support enables many older people and those with disabilities to continue living at home by assisting them with personal care, health needs and household chores.
"It also provides support to those who have been injured and are getting support from ACC."
But he said Grey Power was concerned that levels of support were inconsistent around the country.
"We have been made aware in a reduction of hours of service, due largely to the negotiated wage increases to the carers and the balancing act between funding allocations to the providers and the cost of wages to frontline staff," he said.
"The population is ageing, and client needs are becoming more complex and the demands for home support will continue to grow."
Housing was another key issue. House prices were increasing in Horowhenua and expected population increases would only put more pressure on the housing market and making them less affordable, he said.
Hemmingsen said a large number of older people in the Horowhenua who did own their own home were on fixed incomes, and as ratepayers were feeling the pinch of rising rate levels.
"Over the past 10 years a number of services have been transferred from central government to local government without a corresponding increase in funding," he said.
"The Horowhenua District Council's debt level is alarming and there is ongoing strain on local body financing and infrastructure."
Hemmingsen said Grey Power wanted to moot the possibility of a level of funding from central government for local government in an effort to reduce the rates burden.
Health and mental wellbeing, superannuation, banking services, roading and public transport were other topics affecting senior members of the community.
Grey Power wanted to know each party's stance on increasing the entitlement age for superannuation from 65 to 67, and their views on any proposed tax on capital gains.
It was also advocating the establishment of a Commissioner for Older People, given that 15 per cent of the current population is aged 65 or older, a number that he said was expected to double in the next 20 years.
Meanwhile, each party would be given a certain amount of time to speak at the meeting and rather than open it to questions from the floor.
A more informal question time would take place later with refreshments.
The meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 21 at 1.30pm in the Hudson Room at the Levin Cosmopolitan Club, Main Rd South, Levin.
The date for the election is September 19.