Superannuation Portability Recognises Contribution Of Pacific Island People

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Local Government

The decision to allow Pacific Island people to take their superannuation entitlements back to the Islands was a just reward for hard work and commitment to New Zealand, the Minister in charge of Superannuation Roger Sowry said today.

"I am delighted with the new initiative announced by the Prime Minister in her Statement to Parliament.

"This is something we have wanted to do for a while, but the economic conditions were not favourable. Now we are in a position to deliver and we have," Mr Sowry said.

The initiative means Pacific Island people who have been resident in New Zealand for 20 years (including at least five years after the age of 50) will get 100 per cent of New Zealand Superannuation, and will be eligible to take it home to the Islands.

"This policy recognises those Pacific Island people who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand during their working lives and is something this Government is very proud to implement.

"I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon, Pacific Islands Minister John Delamere and National List MP Arthur Anae, for making this policy a reality," Mr Sowry said.

Mr McKinnon and Mr Delamere said the policy provided fairness in retirement for those who had helped build New Zealand's economy and society.

"As the Prime Minister said, this initiative is good for foreign relations, and recognises New Zealand's special relationship with the Pacific," the Ministers said.

Mr Anae said Pacific Island people deserved to be recognised for their contribution to New Zealand society and he was pleased to be part of a Government that delivered on its commitments to Pacific people.

"I'm very proud to be a member of a Government that keeps its promises. The Prime Minister has said in the past we would change the superannuation policy to allow our Pacific Island people to take it home and that has come to pass.

"More than 130 people will be able to take advantage of the change as soon as it comes into force in October this year, and more people will be eligible in future," Mr Anae said.