Winston Peters hails 'major' SuperGold Card upgrade including app, updated website

Winston Peters is hailing a "major" upgrade to the SuperGold Card which includes an updated website, a new app and 500 new businesses signed up. 

Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader, is describing the upgrades as a reflection of his party's "ongoing commitment to our nation's seniors". 

"From keeping the age of Superannuation eligibility at 65, to restarting contributions to the Super Fund and introducing the Winter Energy Payment, we are walking the talk in Government for New Zealand's seniors."

Peters announced the upgrades alongside New Zealand First MP and Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin, who said seniors "really value" the SuperGold Card, particularly the travel concessions and shopping discounts.

"The reality is, however, it hadn't been supported or maintained and it was harder and harder for people to know where they could use it," Martin said in Auckland. 

"This Government has done something about that after investing $7.7 million into the card in this year's Budget."

Some of the 500 new SuperGold Card partners include Qantas, Countdown, Spark and The Warehouse, who will offer nationwide discounts to cardholders.

Since its launch in August 2007, Peters said the flagship New Zealand First initiative has "helped hundreds of thousands of New Zealand seniors, especially those living on a fixed income, stretch their dollar further". 

He blamed the previous National-led Government for a "9-year-long neglect of the initiative" which meant that "many of the card's benefits could not be easily accessed, particularly for those in the regions". 

Martin said she hopes it is just the beginning. 

"There are already 750,000 over 65s and there will be a million within the next decade, which presents a very large consumer group," she said. 

"I'm sure there are plenty of other businesses, local and national, who will want to access this market and help older New Zealanders."

As for whether an app would be useful for seniors, Martin said there is a "huge percentage" of the elderly population who are tech-savvy and "underestimated". 

Peters has been a staunch advocate for seniors, and earlier this year blasted Nationals proposal to increase the superannuation age to 67 starting in 2037.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out any increase to superannuation. She has noted how her Government decided to restart contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund.

In the lead-up to the 2017 election, Ardern said she would rather resign than raise the retirement age