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Minister commends documentary

Minister commends documentary

Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor today congratulated the makers of the It’s Not A Game documentary, which screened last night in the Documentary NZ slot.

“Problem gambling has emerged as a significant health issue in New Zealand, with associated social and economic costs,” he said. “The documentary showed the human face and toll of problem gambling and its impact; not just on families and whanau, but on communities.”

Mr O’Connor last week launched the government’s strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm. “The issues highlighted in the programme are the exact issues the problem gambling strategy aims to address,” he said.

“The government’s strategy supports a public health (or prevention) approach that will raise awareness of the risk of gambling, provide communities with information to make informed choices about gambling and support communities to work together to tackle problems associated with it.

“The strategy also provides for the development of a range of treatment services to support problem gamblers and their families.”

Mr O’Connor acknowledged the people who appeared in the documentary and their families.

“Their stories were deeply moving and it's an incredibly brave thing to appear on national television and tell your story, particularly when this kind of problem is usually hidden. These stories will assist New Zealanders in their understanding of gambling harm, and its serious consequences.”

Copies of the Ministry of Health’s Strategic Plan for Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm 2004–2010 and the Three-Year Funding Plan can be downloaded from the Ministry’s webpage: http://www.moh.govt.nz/problemgambling

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