Well-off oldies urged to donate winter payments to poor youth

The organisers behind a scheme that diverts well-off superannuitants' Winter Energy Payments to those who truly need it hope more people get on board this winter.

Few people signed up to the Auckland Foundation's Super Warm campaign last year. 

"New Zealand's quite unique in terms of our housing stock," foundation chief executive Mark Longbottom told The AM Show on Monday.

"Often we invite damp into houses, we don't have central heating. I've been in the UK for the last 20-odd years, and houses are warm - but here it's a different kettle of fish."

People receiving superannuation are eligible for additional payments between the start of July and end of September. They add up to $450 for a single person and $700 for a couple. 

"We totally understand for most of those over-65s, those payments are essential - but actually there are some New Zealanders, some Aucklanders, who have wanted to pass those on, and we've created this campaign to enable them to do it," said Longbottom. "People can donate that to us, and we can get it to charities that can make a difference."

Last year it was the Salvation Army. This year it's Give A Kid A Blanket.

"As simple as that concept might be, that's what they do."

If you're feeling really generous and can afford it, Longbottom said donating your entire super payment is also an option.

"That would be amazing - that would be fantastic. We wouldn't say no."

Statistics NZ figures show the 65-plus age group are wealthiest demographic in New Zealand, on average. There are 254,000 Kiwi children living in poverty after the bills are paid, according to the latest estimates from Statistics NZ.

Instructions on how to donate to the Super Warm campaign are on the Auckland Foundation's website. Donations can come from anywhere in New Zealand, and will be spent nationwide, Longbottom says.