From the Chair
2021 is already here and the first month is done and dusted! I hope everyone has had a chance to catch up with at least some family in New Zealand and maybe even a few visitors who’ve braved MIQ and come home for a few months over the summer.
At SeniorNet, we’ve been busy over the break getting ready for the new Term which starts in less than a week’s time. All our PCs are up to date, our first Committee meeting is over and our Open Days all planned for this week.
There are a couple of buttons below that you can click to see our upcoming courses and workshops. Why not check them out and see if there’s something we can help you with in 2021 on the technology front.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, why not come to our Open Day on Saturday 6th February at The Learning Centre and have a chat to one of our tutors. They know all about our Courses and Workshops and can guide you on your Learning Journey. There are full details further on in this Newsletter.
A big focus for us early in the year will be assisting people to get prepared for “Chexit”. That’s the name being thrown around to represent the end of cheque usage in New Zealand. Already some banks have stopped issuing cheques and most will stop accepting them by around mid-year. This is one of those things that just can’t be put off any longer!
At SeniorNet we’ll be running our Introduction to Internet Banking Workshop regularly to support members in the changeover to a more online-focussed banking environment. Our Workshop, supported by our national sponsor Westpac, is bank-agnostic! It doesn’t push any particular bank’s products but instead focusses on how Internet Banking works, what you have to do to get connected and what you and your bank both need to do to keep your money safe. You even get to play with a “real” Internet Banking System (thanks to Westpac) which helps to reinforce the Workshop’s explanations of what’s possible online.
As one of the Tutors of this Workshop, the best outcome for me is when attendees come up afterwards and tell me that they are much more confident and comfortable with how things work and that they’re off to their bank to get signed up!
Welcome back to SeniorNet in 2021 – I look forward to catching up with everyone during the next few months at The Learning Centre.
Chair, SeniorNet Kapiti Inc.
Courses and Workshops – Term 1
Term 1 Workshops kick off on Thursday 11th February at 1:30pm, with our regular “How do I…” session. Any questions or problems on Smartphones, Tablets, iPhones, iPads, Laptops or PC’s can be handled by our tutors. You bring your question and we’ll help with the answers. Remember also to bring your passwords along if your problem is related to eMail or any other “account” issue.
A full description of all these sessions is included in the Workshop section of our website, however we hope you’ve sorted out the current concern – “How come my Smartphone isn’t smart enough to download the Covid 19 app?” – If not we’ll see you at the workshop Thursday afternoon!
A full list of our Term 1 Courses and Workshops can be found on our website here – look for the two buttons (duplicated below) on the right-hand side of the page. Click the one you want and you will always see the latest programmes.
SeniorNet Open Days – 2 & 6 February 2021
For those of you who’ve recommended SeniorNet to friends and relatives over the holidays, please let them know that we have our ‘Open Days’ coming up this week:-
Tuesday, 2nd February 9:00am to 4:00pm at Coastlands
Saturday, 6th February 10:00am to 2:00pm at our Learning Centre
200 Matai Rd, Raumati Beach
Everybody we talk to in the community has somebody in mind “who should be going to SeniorNet” so we’re expecting an big response. Our experienced Tutors will all be there to help newbies work out how we can assist them to build confidence in using digital technologies. Please send your friends along, we’ll be waiting to help.
Also, if you’re thinking of joining one of our Courses or Workshops this Term, please come along to the Saturday Open Day and you can discuss your needs with one of our Tutors and make your bookings while you’re there.
If you already know which Courses and Workshops you want to attend this Term, please contact Elaine (email SNKBookings@gmail.com or phone 021 169 6256) early to ensure you get a spot on the course or workshop of your choice.
A New Year Treat for Existing AMI Customers
If you are an AMI insurance client, AMI will be paying your SeniorNet subscription for the 2021-22 year, to reflect the assistance to their customers provided by SeniorNet.
We will be contacting all members shortly to ask which of you are AMI Insurance customers so we can submit the necessary paperwork to The Federation and receive payment for your free subscription renewal in April.
Watch your In-Tray for details soon!
Chexit – The Elimination of Cheques!
Westpac, along with most of the other banks in New Zealand, will be phasing cheques out during the first half of 2021. This is faster than originally planned but the recent lockdowns have highlighted to the banks and their customers how important it is for everyone to be able to use Internet/online Banking services. The Westpac timetable is already well underway and it looks like this
- 16 November 2020 – Foreign cheques under $500 no longer accepted
- 27 November 2020 – Last day for automatic issue of Westpac cheque books
- 26 March 2021 – Last day Westpac customers can order cheque books
- 25 June 2021 – Last day Westpac will accept cheques
- 25 June 2021 – Last day Westpac cheques will be accepted by other banks
The latest information we can find from other major banks and government organisations is as follows:-
- Kiwibank, IRD, ACC & NZ Post are already cheque-free
- ANZ will no longer accept cheques after 31st May 2021
- BNZ are no longer issuing cheques. No cheques accepted after July 2021
- Rabobank will stop issuing or accepting cheques by end 2021
- ASB has stated it will stop cheques but have given no specific date at this point – Chexit is not mentioned on their website yet
- Cooperative Bank still issuing and accepting cheques but this is “under review”
- TSB still issuing and accepting cheques
- SBS still issuing and accepting cheques
SeniorNet is the place to come for assistance with this important changeover. Our Introduction to Internet Banking Workshop will explain how it all works, what everyone’s obligations are and also how safe it is to use. You even get a chance to play with the Westpac “test” system during the Workshop.
Check out our Term 1 Workshop Timetable here to see when our next session are planned.
Fancy Helping Out at SeniorNet?
We are always looking for members willing to assist with the running of our Courses and Workshops – anything from (wo)manning the door, making the tea & coffee thru to assisting and running the sessions themselves.
If you are interested in helping in any way, please contact Sue Connor – just leave a message on our answerphone (tel: 04 299 0754) and she’ll call you back.
A New Strategy for Grandparents?
Please Support our Sponsors
Please don’t forget to support our National sponsors – they’re important to SeniorNet and help us at the local level in many ways, including offering discounts to our members.
Always show your membership card and ask if there’s a discount for SeniorNet members – you might be rather surprised!
The best example is Noel Leeming where the SeniorNet discount extends well beyond computers to everything in their store!
Suzuki also offer our members a discount on new vehicles so it always pays to ask.
There are more details about the individual sponsorships on the Federation’s website here