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Bunkle Costs Community Groups $12m A Year

Consumer Affairs Minister, Phillida Bunkle’s, ill-devised policy plans could cost community groups $12 million a year in lost funding, said ACT MP Penny Webster.

Ms Bunkle made the suggestions as part of the Gaming Law Reform Bill currently before the house. Gaming is the responsibility of Internal Affairs Minister, Mark Burton, who favours an Internal Affairs review, meaning all regulations will be made under one framework.

“It appears Ms Bunkle is setting policy direction on her own. She has received no official advice on a range of matters relating to gaming machine regulation.

In answer to parliamentary written questions Phillida Bunkle conceded that she had taken no advice from officials on the costs or benefits of any of her proposals. One of the proposals is that a disabling device be fitted to gaming machines shutting them down for 10 minutes every hour.

“The Minister of Internal Affairs estimates the changes could lose community groups $12 million a year in funding.

However, this has not stopped Ms Bunkle, repeatedly calling for a range of restrictions on gaming machines and their operation, under the guise of consumer protection regulations.

“These sorts of ideas are ill-thought out, unconstructive and just plain loopy.

“Ms Bunkle’s plans will put many community and sporting groups to the wall. It will ultimately hurt the very people Ms Bunkle professes to be trying to help.

“Phillida Bunkle should keep off-the-hoof policy to herself and leave New Zealanders to spend there money as they see fit,” said Penny Webster.

ENDS

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