Oldies May Lose Free Waiheke Trips


Oldies may find their free trips on the Waiheke ferry clipped after Steven Joyce’s  review of the free off-peak public transport component of the SuperGold Card.

That review has moved into its second phase with targeted consultation for the next two months.

Citing the Waiheke ferry as one costly item, Steven Joyce says some changes will need to be made because it is currently stand on track to exceed the available budget.

“The highest priority of the review process is to consider how to keep the scheme within the available budget of $18 million a year, while continuing to provide improved mobility for older people.”

No more free trips?

Among other things, officials will consider:

  • the level of reimbursement operators and councils receive
  • how “off peak” should be defined
  • the eligibility of certain high cost services- including the Waiheke ferry and the train service between Wellington and the Wairarapa “

The transport concession of the SuperGold card has an annual budget of $18 million dollars across the country - $2 million of that is currently spent on the Waiheke ferry alone,” says Mr Joyce.

The review is being led by the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the NZ Transport Agency.

When the scheme was set up in October 2008, it was agreed that a review would be undertaken after the scheme had been operating for 12 months to ensure its ongoing viability.

In conducting this stage of the review, officials will consult with a number of key stakeholder groups including: regional and local authorities, public transport operators, Grey Power, Age Concern NZ, the Returned Services’ Association (RSA), and the Ministry of Social Development’s Volunteer Community Co-ordinators for the Office for Senior Citizens.

It will finished by May.




  1. James Pole says:

    Frankly I think the whole SuperGold system should be scrapped. It’s annoying for me seeing old people leave their 2010 BMWs at home and take the bus while students have to scavenger for bus fare money.

    I think free public transport should be income-linked and not age-linked. SuperGold should be dropped in favour for free (or concession priced) tickets for all community services card holders or some other card system which tests the income before issuing a card to a person.

  2. Bryan says:

    In reply to James Pole.You might be young but one day you will be OLD.Only the really rich “oldies” have the vehicle you mentioned.Going out for a day id a big thing for pensioners who have for years and years paid their taxes.I for have paid tax for over 55years and we still have to pay tax on our pension. So Mr Pole spare a thought for the seniors.

  3. Jon C says:

    The train carriage the other day was full of seniors who had had an awesome day out - Waiheke and now a train trip home. They were like a bunch of overexcited toddlers.
    It was good to see.
    They’ve paid enough taxes and none of them looked as if they drove BMWs.


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