Amidst a spate of Covid-related announcements, and the third-reading passage of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill to give enforcement agencies greater powers to protect us from terrorists, the government has delivered good news – of sorts – for its older citizens.
Whoa. Maybe we should call them (and ourselves, here at Point of Order) “seniors”, because the announcement was made by Dr Ayesha Verrall in her capacity as Minister for Seniors.
We fondly recall Verrall being described – just after the 2020 general election – as an infectious diseases expert who
“ .. has been parachuted straight into Cabinet after only being elected last month. Indeed she will be sworn in as a minister before even being sworn in as an MP. New Zealand hasn’t had a first-term MP go straight into Cabinet since Steven Joyce joined John Key’s first Cabinet in 2008.”
Thus looking after our best interests (Point of Order speaks on behalf of all seniors here) was put in the hands of the least experienced Minister.
More interesting, those best interests were put in the hands of a minister of uncertain vintage, although we can confidently declare she is less than half the age of some oldies.
We say this because Wikipedia records Ayesha Jennifer Verrall being born in
1979/1980 (age 40–42)
Invercargill, New Zealand
The Southlanders on your Point of Order editorial team are surprised to find this element of flexibility in the birth records in the country’s southern-most city.
Whatever her exact age, our Minister for Seniors has launched the Better Later Life Action Plan at the virtual Vision for Ageing in Aotearoa conference.
The intention is to set out a pathway for a better future for older New Zealanders.
Mind you, this could be a crafty way of putting our ageing faculties to the test. Try saying “Better Later Life Action Plan” rapidly three times after sinking a couple of G and Ts in the evening.
Verrall went on:
“Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua is our strategy for ensuring New Zealanders can lead valued, connected and fulfilling lives as they age.”