It was a great pleasure to be an invited observer at the recent Grey Power Federation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wellington. The AGM is covered in this latest Grey Power magazine.
Despite the rather dreary Wellington weather, those present contributed to a stimulating discussion.
In particular, the AGM was delighted to be able to acknowledge many long-serving office holders, including Roy Reid’s massive contribution to the Federation and its associations over many years. These were in particular recognised by former president Tom O’Conner, in his comments on page 6.
Roy is now stepping down from his front-line activities, but will continue to be interested and involved in the Federation’s key interests.
It was a special pleasure for me to physically meet many readers of the magazine.
The AGM also brought home to me what a variegated group the membership is.
As President Jan Pentecost points out in her column in this issue, one of the very few occasional downsides of a job she otherwise loves, is that the hard-working board’s members sometimes find that association members believe it is the board’s role to arbitrate in internal association committee conflicts.
Grey Power was set up as a federation, not a society with branches. This means that the federation is the parent or umbrella organisation formed by associations. Within this, each association retains the control of its own internal affairs and the board’s involvement is limited to mediation.
I was especially struck, as I sat and listened to the absorbing remits discussed throughout the AGM, that the associations and their members by no means speak with one voice – nor should they. It was particularly interesting to note that the discussion over the many problems that older members face grappling with the unsuitability of current age restrictions on driver licences, remains an area of hot concern.
Despite this having been a well-worn topic of debate, with frequent lobbying on the part of members around the country – including a cover story in our March 2022 issue – problems remain unresolved.
The official response might best be summed up as incoherent nationally, and deeply frustrating for thousands of elderly, competent drivers, as they wrestle with understanding the varying driver licence requirements, which are inconsistently applied around the country.
Your continuing involvement and support on this and many other crucial issues is greatly appreciated.