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Thursday May 26, 2016

Greypower coming into a “new era” By Nikki Papatsoumas

The eastern and southern suburbs chapter of Grey Power is coming into a “new era”. Grey Power is a national advocacy organisation which promotes the welfare and well-being of all those citizens in the 50 plus age group. Over the years, members of Grey Power have debated a variety of issues including superannuation, housing and transport. President of the eastern and southern suburbs chapter of Grey Power, Bernard O’Shaughnessy, said their chapter had recently taken on new committee members and he believed this, alongside other changes, would catapult Grey Power into a “new era”. “We are in a position where we want to move forward,” Bernard said. Grey Power typically focused on the 65 plus age group in the past, however, they would now “embrace” the 50 plus age group, Bernard said.

He said Michael Dunningham had come on board as vice president for the 50 plus group to the committee. Michael said in many parts of New Zealand, the 50 plus age group of Grey Power was growing. “There is a big group of people who have needs and they have been coming to us saying they have problems,” Michael said. “We also need to be there to help these people.” As well as this, members would also be calling on the Wellington City Council to adopt “age friendly” policies. This would provide a long term focus on ageing, in particular reducing ageism and promoting positive ageing. Monthly meetings will also now be held throughout the southern and eastern suburbs to make them more accessible to all members, Bernard said.  For more information on how to become a member of Grey Power, contact michael.greypower@gmail. com, or

Kia ora to a new language Parents and children are expanding their Maori repertoire beyond ‘Kia ora’, together at the Houghton Valley Playcentre. Every Thursday morning children and their whanau are welcomed to the playcentre for bilingual sessions. The goal of the session was to encourage and inspire both parents and children in learning a new language, help them try new things, make mistakes and have fun, while normalising Te Reo and Tikanga Maori. Jessie Moss, language leader, said there was value in teaching parents and children the language together. “Te Reo is unique and incredibly important to Aotearoa, and our playcentre sessions are a way that we can foster Te Reo in our own whanau and community. “It is a rich and beautiful language. It is a source of meaning, knowledge and perspectives that can enrich us and our lives.” Rose Swindells, a participating parent, has enjoyed learning a new language with her child. “It is a lovely, relaxed environment with no pressure or judgement. There is always lots of laughter and waiata,” Rose said.

Though the programme has been running since last July, it continues to cater to all learning stages, welcoming complete beginners and those who have been learning for years alike. Rose said, “We all come from different backgrounds and we all love having a place to practice our reo and learn alongside our tamariki.” Learning a new language is helpful for children and parents. Jessie noted the growing evidence of the benefits of learning a second or third language for children. “It gives children a positive attitude towards learning,” she said. It is both beneficial and enjoyable, Jessie said. “The kids just soak it up. It is easy for them and it gives them confidence that stays with them. “When they see something new and different, they think ‘I can do that.’ This kind of thinking makes learning an adventure.” The lessons are open to nonmembers, and the playcentre will celebrate matariki, the Maori New Year, with an open day on June 9. All are welcome to join in on the harakeke weaving, crafts, puppet shows, story-telling, waitata and pot luck morning tea/lunch.

Michael Dunningham, Bernard O’Shaughnessy, Dot Doherty and Gandabhaiv Patel.

Be in to WIN one of 2 Double Passes to

St Catherine’s College

University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival


Tuesday 31 May and Tuesday 16 August 11.30am-1.00pm & 6.30pm-7.30pm Public Performances Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington Friday 3 June 10.00 - 5.30pm Saturday 4 June 9.30am - 5.30pm SGCNZ YSC Showcase & Award Ceremony St James Theatre Sunday 5 June 7.00-9.30pm



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