Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 1
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Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 1


Herot Ola Tamati acclaimed settlement bills second reading I call on government order of the day number two social assistance residency qualification legislation bill first reading madam Speaker I call the Honourable Carmel super Ronnie I move that the social assistance residency qualification legislation bill be read for a first time I nominate the social services and community Select Committee to consider the bill madam Speaker this bill seeks to provide greater pension flexibility for people who wish to retire in any of the Cook Islands Niue we had took a low or New Zealand before I get into the detail of this bill madam Speaker can I acknowledge the presidents the presence of the prime minister of the Cook Islands in Runa and his Minister Albert Nicholas and other advisers and staff members from the Cook Islands can I also acknowledge you assistant speaker as a cook island member of this Parliament and I also acknowledge Alfred narrow from the opposition as a cook I remember from this Parliament and my ministerial colleague Christopher Foyle or took a lower descent as a member of this Parliament as well madam Speaker this government is committed to a Pacific reset we have a renewed emphasis on strengthening our relationship with our Pacific neighbours this renewed emphasis is in a small but meaningful way reflected in this bill yesterday the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands the right Honorable Henry Puna described the connection between New Zealand and the Cook Islands as an enduring evolving and loving partnership under this government we will continue to evolve and grow together with our Pacific neighbours based on a partnership of equals I see this much-needed n long time coming piece of legislation as honouring the special partnership between New Zealand and the Cook Islands Niue here and took a loan madam Speaker this government wants to make sure that those countries and territories that have close constitutional ties with New Zealand are recognized your ongoing economic and social viability is supported we also want to ensure that New Zealanders who meet the relevant visa and immigration requirements can have other options for where they spend their retirement this bill allows the requirement that a person can meet the requirements of five years residents and presents after the age of 50 in New Zealand for superannuation with residents in presence in either New Zealand the Cook Islands Niue Way or took allow or any combination of those countries and their territory the change is restricted to the Cook Islands Niue where and took a low because this bill is about recognising New Zealand’s close constitutional relationships with these Pacific Islands and reflects our push for stronger and more aspirational partnerships between New Zealand and these Pacific Islands Cook Islands Nui and took allow our part of the realm of New Zealand which means that they enjoy shared citizenship with New Zealand and unique legal arrangements both the Cook Islands and Niue we have adopted constitutions enabling self-government and free association with New Zealand so they can administer their own affairs Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand madam Speaker current pinch and portability Arrangements allow people to take their New Zealand superannuation to one of 22 Pacific countries and territories including the Cook Islands Niue Ian took a lobe the special portability arrangement is designed to recognize the contribution Pacific peoples make to New Zealand and the inability of Pacific countries and territories to fulfill their reciprocal obligations necessary to conclude social security agreements with New Zealand there are currently nearly 400 people receiving their New Zealand superannuation and veterans pension in the Cook Islands Niue we’re and took a low and over 300 of those people live in the Cook Islands before 2015 a person would have to be resident in prison – New Zealand on the date of application in order to be eligible under the special portability arrangement however an amendment introduced in 2015 means that people resident in the Cook Islands knew where or Tokelau can now for New Zealand superannuation or the veterans pension from the islands rather than needing to be resident imprisoned in New Zealand at the time of their application applicants though was still required to be 65 years or over and have lived in New Zealand for ten years since the age of twenty and five years since the age of fifty and fulfilment of the other requirements of superannuation and veteran’s pension the intent of this change was to remove a disincentive for people to return to the Cook Islands new way or took allowed to live however the change and has had a smaller take-up than expected it is now evident that the 2015 change while removing some disincentives for skilled people to return to the Cook Islands Niue we’re and took a lull during their working lives did not achieve the desired effect of encouraging people to move back to and remain in those countries the overall principle of the five years over 50 residents requirement that comes with superannuation and the veteran’s pension entitlements continues to be preserved in this bill and require our requirements remain about overall residency of at least 10 years in New Zealand after the age of 20 this means that somebody must have at least had a recent connection with the Cook Islands Niue ere took a lower New Zealand before they can get New Zealand superannuation or veteran’s pension which could not be achieved by simply removing the five years over 50 residence requirement for people applying from the Cook Islands new way it was took alone the proposals in this bill have come about due to concerns raised by governments of the Cook Islands anywhere about the current five years over age 50 credence requirement they considered that the five over 50 residents requirement was deterring skilled people from returning and contributing to their countries and territory they were also concerned that the five years over 50 residents requirement may induce some people to return to New Zealand in order to ensure that they will be able to can’t claim New Zealand superannuation or veterans pension later on and the concern was that that was the only reason for returning to New Zealand at that point this bill is about supporting the economic can social viability of the Cook Islands Niue we’re and took a low D population and it’s related social and economic consequences as a long-standing issue for these islands the current five years over 50 residence requirement has been described as a disincentive for Cook Islanders new ends and took allowance to remain in their employment and to participate in the community how after having lived in New Zealand we all in this house know the importance of family particularly in later life this bill helps to maintain family and community ties in these Pacific Islands by enabling older people to stay with their family without losing access to superannuation or the veteran’s pension there is also concerned that people would leave important possessed possessions which contribute to the economy and society to return to New Zealand to gain the five years residence in New Zealand over the age of 50 removing this disincentive would potentially help boost economic development and human resource capacity by allowing highly skilled people to continue contributing to their communities in these Pacific Islands after the age of 50 and be entitled to New Zealand superannuation and veteran’s pension by using residents in the Cook Islands Niue we took allow in New Zealand to qualify this change will not be restricted to New Zealand citizens of the Cook Islands new end took allow other New Zealanders who qualify for New Zealand superannuation and veterans pension will be able to make use of the provision should they meet the relevant migration and visa criteria in the Cook Islands view we or took a lo and choose to reside the I thought I should clarify this because I have people in my office thinking that at the age of 50 they could just automatically move to the Cook Islands and that’s not the case mr. speaker the economic implications of the bill for New Zealand are relatively low the increase in New Zealand superannuation and veterans pension costs in the first complete fiscal year in 2019 20 is estimated to be 3.5 million rising to 4.3 million by 2022 and 23 there are a range of indirect economic benefits and savings that may be derived by New Zealand from the proposal the potential benefits include increased economic activity in the Cook Islands Niue when took a low as I mentioned early on leading to a reduction and remittance payments and potentially private transfers from New Zealand savings could also be accrued as a result of a lesser burden on some of the New Zealand government funded services as has been highlighted by other Cook Islands and Niue we’re government themselves these benefits are difficult to quantify however and would depend on the response to the new arrangements officials have tried to estimate how many people might benefit from new arrangement the proposal is estimated to result in an additional 174 people receiving New Zealand super and veteran’s pension in the first complete fiscal year of operation in 2019 20 rising to 204 people in 2020 223 well those are relatively small numbers in the context of the very small populations of Nui and Tokelau in particular which each have populations of less than 1,500 people the implications of the bill is significant for those countries and territories I want to acknowledge the vital role and bringing this bill together that our Pacific neighbours have played not only in New Zealand but and can I also say the rolled our Pacific neighbours play on the global stage we have a unique relationship with the Cook Islands Nui and took a low and there is something to cherish with this bill this government shows our commitment to evolving and growing our partnership together as a response to the concerns and needs that have been raised with us I want to thank the cook Island government for being present in the House today and I look forward to progressing this bill further I’m a tucky tucky the question is that the motion be agreed to madam Speaker I call the Honourable Alfred another thank you madam Speaker been a speaker can I first of all say and decline thank you for the speech

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