The NZ Pension Abuse website is a pioneer work in the protest against, and the exposure of, Section 70 of the 1964 Social Security Act and still is a fantastic resource for research on the topic. It has reached quite some popularity, and is even known to New Zealand's major politicians - who, however, have tried to discredit it by claiming some information on the website is not correct. *
You might ask why we started another website instead of joining forces with the already existing one.
For a start, both websites do not compete with but rather complement each other. On NZ Pension Abuse, for example, you find some original reports like the top secret 2005 report on the treatment of overseas pensions presented to the Ministers of Finance and Social Development. This report was first suppressed from public view because it clearly addressed the inequities and unfairness of Section 70. It also stated that any change to the Social Security Act would cost money the (then Labour) Government was not willing to spend in the name of justice and better international relations.
A treasure trove
Interestingly enough this report describes the direct deduction of overseas pensions as payments of foreign governments into New Zealand. And it clearly states that Tier 2 earnings-related pensions have little similarity to NZ Super.
These are only a few examples of the treasure trove the NZ Pension Abuse website is. It also has detailed reports on court cases, and historical reviews.
Without NZ Pension Abuse we would probably not have found out about New Zealand's pension rip-off until our respective retirement, and would have suffered the same shock as so many pensioners in this country.
We are journalists and PR people and therefore felt the need for a website with a modern, fresh and appealing look that has the potential to attract and interest people who are not directly affected by Direct Deduction and Spousal Provision. We also wanted to deliver specific information for Germans in German, as we have our roots there and, as newcomers, would have struggled with the subject and all those technical terms. Legal texts are already hard enough to understand in your first language.
Joint forces in different places
Our website is easy to navigate, easy to read (although our English might not be perfect at all times...), and puts emphasis on the personal stories of the people affected, the shattering effect DDP and SP had and still have on their lives, simply the human touch. At the same time the website does not neglect the important facts: the legislation, the various reviews of the law, and the Government agencies involved in administering the pension system.
It provides links to more detailed information and offers first aid - although we are not able to pay you out the money the New Zealand government takes off you by deducting your overseas pension from NZ Super...
We also hope this website will become a platform for discussion and further contributions from people outside the editorial department. So another goal is to create a space where affected people find companions in distress and feel that they are not alone in their fight.
By linking this website to interactive internet sites we hope to multiply the number of followers and raise awareness in the wider community.
NZ Pension Abuse has been the first step in making the New Zealand government's pension rip-off public. Our approach is the second step. We think we can walk together and also grow stronger together. Joint forces in different places.
* The NZ Pension Abuse website states that 25% of New Zealanders have their NZ Super drastically reduced, whereas the critics claim only 11% are affected. NZ Pension Abuse say their critics (the Government) are deliberately leaving out those New Zealanders denied NZ Superannuation because they were not legally resident in the country when they were 65.
Petone Settlers Museum
The first European immigrants had to fight hard to make a new life in New Zealand. The NZ Pension Abuse website creators were the pioneers in the fight against the New Zealand government's pension rip-off policy.