'It stays hidden' - Age Concern urges people to watch out for the signs of elder abuse

Age Concern New Zealand is urging people to be vigilant for elder abuse - and to actually go and see older people rather than just sending things.

Spokesperson Hanny Naus, speaking this morning to TVNZ1's Breakfast, said elder abuse is "when an older person is harmed by someone who they trust, and that can be an action or an inaction".

Most elder abuse comes from people who initially genuinely want to help older people, she said, but that can turn sour.

"Psychological abuse sits behind most abuse that happens ... so often a person might be being betrayed or being upset by what's happening in their lives and have no avenue to express that or to deal with that," Ms Naus said.

"What we see a lot is that people who initially start off trying to be helpful to the older person, often it's in a family situation where one person offers to take care of them or to help them with their finances, ends up being controlled or abused by that person."

The best way for people to help is to stay aware of how an older person is feeling - to go and visit them and ask questions rather than sending flowers, for example.

"Ask questions and seek out what might be useful to that person to get the help they need," Ms Naus said.

"A lot of what happens in families ... stays hidden."

You call Age Concern on 0800 326 686 for advice, even if you're not sure if a person is being abused.

Spokesperson Hanny Naus says those committing elder abuse often start out wanting to help. Source: Breakfast



'Lack of adequate insulation statements' common in tenancy agreements, MBIE says, who warn landlords - increased enforcement is coming

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is warning landlords that they are risking fines if they fail to tell tenants about insulation at their property.

Landlords have been required to give specific details about a property's insulation on all tenancy agreements signed since July 1, 2016.

MBIE said its Tenancy Compliance and Investigation Team had undertaken 24 investigations into incomplete insulation statements as of May this year.

One landlord was successfully prosecuted, and 15 warnings have been given out, but MBIE spokesperson Michael Docherty said it's an issue which will face increased scrutiny in future.

"The TCIT has found a lack of adequate insulation statements were common when undertaking a recent audit of 55 landlords," Mr Docherty said.

One tenancy agreement seen by 1 NEWS, issued by a large Auckland property management company and signed this year, simply stated that insulation was "unknown - to be inspected".

"Merely stating that insulation is 'unknown' is a breach of [their] obligation," Mr Docherty said.

"If landlords are genuinely unable to establish the information they need to provide, then they need to set out what information in missing and what steps they have taken to obtain this information.

"All reasonable efforts must be made to obtain the necessary information to do this, including assessing the building, engaging a professional to do an assessment and/or checking the council building file."

The maximum fine which can be given to landlords who fail to provide insulation information is $500.

Ceiling and underfloor insulation will be required in all rental properties by July 1 next year, and MBIE warns that Tenancy Services will be cracking down on enforcement in this area.

"Tenancy Services are treating insulation statements as a priority area and are taking stronger action where breaches are found," Mr Docherty said.

Landlords are legally required to give specific details of a property's insulation to tenants.
Landlords are legally required to give specific details of a property's insulation to tenants. Source: 1 NEWS

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Watch: Jessica Mutch makes a call on name of Jacinda Ardern's baby

1 NEWS Political Editor Jessica Mutch has playfully predicted that Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford’s baby will be a boy and Clarke will feature somewhere in the name.

Mutch admitted her "good money" bet on the gender was baseless but because the prime minister's partner Clarke shares his name with his father, she predicted that Clarke would feature somewhere in the name for a boy.

"I have absolutely nothing to base this on, except for a pure guess but I'm going with boy and I'm thinking somewhere in there, Clarke, because Clarke's name and then his father's name is Clarke," Mutch said on TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"If they had slipped up and said girl, they would have been like, 'ah, okay that's what happened' and just said, 'yep, it's a girl.'"

"That's what my little thinking is, maybe I'm over thinking it."

Ms Ardern is due to give birth on Sunday.

Jessica Mutch regular talks with the Prime Minister, so who better to speculate? Source: Breakfast