Eldernet asked each of the political parties contesting the 2020 election to tell us what they see as the primary issues facing older people and what they plan to do about making older people’s lives easier. Here is the response from Tracy Livingston, health spokesperson for the Outdoors Party.
The Outdoors Party is committed to the wellbeing of our elderly. We want healthy longevity to be normal. Research shows that health in old age is built from a lifetime of beneficial habits. There are nations that enjoy excellent health into old age; sadly, New Zealand is not one of them. We have some of the highest rates of heart disease, strokes and motor neuron disease. Our solution is to emulate what the most successful countries do and recreate their lifestyles and diet here in New Zealand.
The Outdoors Party wants to overhaul our medical systems to create good health rather our current ‘disease management system’. The COVID-19 scare is an example of this – experienced medical professionals noticed certain medications made patients more susceptible to the Corona-SARS-2 virus COVID-19. Government needed to act quickly to replace harmful medications with safer ones and promote therapies proven to be effective for all novel infections, instead of just crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.
It’s important for our peace of mind to understand that we live in a sea of viruses – even 50 percent of human DNA is viral in structure! Since 1976, 12,800 new viruses have been recorded. Health officials declaring COVID-19 a ‘novel’ virus is illogical because new viruses are being discovered all the time. To shut down a country for a novel virus is irrational. If we shut down the country for every new virus, New Zealand would never be open!
The seniors in our party all agree that we don’t want to see our children or our country bankrupted by COVID restrictions for ‘our protection’. We know we have built up a lifetime of immunity, and this coupled with fresh air, exercise, nourishing foods and effective supplementation means we can handle these immune challenges.
We believe the government’s COVID response was disproportionate to the threat, and locking people away, shutting locally owned businesses, preventing people attending funerals and separating families caused more harm than benefit to young and old alike. The Outdoors Party has strategies for getting New Zealand’s small and medium businesses back on their feet, but more importantly, strategies to improve the health and immunity of our entire population to improve all our health outcomes, not just COVID-19.
It’s not the government’s job to drive people into poverty, so we will ensure that retirees have an adequate income and pay no tax on earnings under $40,000. We will support seniors to stay living in their own homes if that’s what they wish. We will increase the rates subsidy for retirees based on need.
We understand the elderly are not just concerned for themselves but also for their children and grandchildren. Many of the things government does support and protect corporate profits, whether it’s the food industry, the agrichemical and fishing industry, the pharmaceutical industry or the banking industry, without concern for the true wellbeing of our people. The Outdoors Party believes government should put the health of its people and environment first, so we all enjoy a good life full of opportunity, whatever age, and forever.