17 Mar 2018

Law change to grant 170 Pacific Islanders NZ super

6:45 am on 17 March 2018

About 170 extra people will receive New Zealand superannuation or veteran's pension a year after the eligibility for residents of Realm countries are relaxed, the Ministry of Social Development says.

Most retirees will eventually rely on superannuation.

Most retirees will eventually rely on superannuation. Photo: 123RF

People born in the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau are New Zealand residents by birth.

However, according to Work and Income, they currently need to have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 consecutive years since the age of 20 to qualify for superannuation, and at least five years since the age of 50.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has said the government would drop the latter requirement for superannuation and the veterans pension.

The change would come into effect later this year, he said.

Beyond the 170 extra in the first year, the number was expected to grow to about 200 extra Realm country residents receiving the payments by 2023, the Ministry of Social Development's general manager of seniors and international policy Justine Cornwall said.

But the number was small compared with the overall number of superannuitants and veterans it supported, she said.

Last financial year almost 730,000 New Zealanders got the New Zealand Superannuation and 9500 got the Veteran's Pension.

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