Verrall draws attention to elder abuse today while the PM apologises for crackdown on Polynesians 40 years ago

We are paying special attention today to comments submitted for publication on the Point of Order blog.

The reason:  our writers are in the “veteran” category, as journalists, and accordingly feel entitled to make the most of today being World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Fawning comments will be accepted with relish.  Anything unduly harsh will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

But we do acknowledge that finding critical comments in our in-tray is not as traumatic as being physically or psychologically abused.

Thus we recognise that we are unlikely to be the intended beneficiaries of a new campaign intended to alert the public to elder abuse and to encourage people to protect older New Zealanders.

Most abuse is committed by someone close to the victim, often by a family member or a caregiver.

“It’s a devastating abuse of trust, and people find it hard to speak out against someone they rely on,” Seniors Minister Ayesha Verrall said.

 In Budget 2020, the Elder Abuse Response Service received an additional $25 million over the following four years. This funding addressed cost pressures, and improved the coverage of services.

The service, which was established in 2017, includes a free national helpline and 28 regional providers.

 Just as harrowing for the people rounded up at the time and their families was the rigorous enforcement of immigration rules that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families in the early 1970s.

The Dawn Raids were a defining moment in New Zealand’s history and the emotional harm caused by them remains etched in the living memory of those who were directly impacted, the PM said when issuing a government apology some 40 years later.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said the apology is an opportunity to promote a reconciliation process for those directly impacted by the Dawn Raids.

Latest from the Beehive

Senior citizens

Campaign shines a light on elder abuse

A new campaign to shine a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders was launched today, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, families and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight.

Research suggests around one in 10 people will experience elder abuse but only a small number of cases are ever reported, Seniors Minister Ayesha Verrall said.

“I’m pleased this year’s campaign is highlighting the least understood, but more common, forms of abuse – such as financial and psychological.

“It’s important to understand that elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their background.”


Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar, a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector.

As a former trustee of the Halberg Disability Foundation and President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Sir Eion supported many talented athletes and played a critical role in the development and funding of Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Edgar Sports Centre in Dunedin – the largest single-building indoor sports arena in the Southern Hemisphere.

The range of philanthropic causes that Sir Eion and Jan, Lady Edgar have supported both inside and outside the sport sector was “nothing short of extraordinary”, Robertson said.


Government to apologise for Dawn Raids

The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families.

The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers often took place very early in the morning or late at night and were routinely severe with demeaning, verbal and physical treatment.

“An apology can never reverse what happened or undo the damage caused but we can acknowledge it and we can seek to right a wrong,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Foreign aid

Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.

Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border into Bangladesh to escape violence, 1.3 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance in Cox’s Bazar, she said.

New Zealand will contribute NZ $5.5 million to a range of UN agencies and NGOs in Bangladesh to provide support to these communities. This funding includes support to programmes for women and girls.

Another NZ $2.75 million in humanitarian support will be provided for people within Myanmar. Prior to the 1 February coup in Myanmar, conflicts had resulted in nearly 336,000 people being displaced from their homes and in humanitarian need.

“We are deeply concerned that the coup has exacerbated the humanitarian situation of the most vulnerable in Myanmar,” said Nanaia Mahuta.    

None of this funding will be channelled through, or benefit, Myanmar’s military.

One thought on “Verrall draws attention to elder abuse today while the PM apologises for crackdown on Polynesians 40 years ago

  1. Ok here goes the ‘fawn’…excellent blog, try not to miss it. Dawn raids? Mythologised. Pretty sure ‘demeaning, physical & verbal treatment’ occurred on both sides. ‘Wrongs”? RIP Sir Eion…good bugger.


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