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Problem gambling wrecks lives – new tv campaign

22 March 2007 Meia Release

Problem gambling wrecks lives – new tv campaign

Problem gambling wrecks kiwi lives and has a devastating impact on families and communities, a mass media campaign launched tomorrow by Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor shows.

The 'Kiwi Lives' campaign features a 30-second television advertisement to get New Zealanders thinking and talking about problem gambling and the actions they can take to minimise or prevent the harm it causes.

"Community organisations like the Salvation Army estimate that one in three people visiting food banks are affected by problem gambling", Mr O'Connor said.

"There is a growing awareness in New Zealand that problem gambling destroys relationships, kids go hungry, businesses fail, debts mount and violence and crime results."

It is estimated that in New Zealand every year Kiwis lose about $2 billion dollars to gambling – that’s about $5.5 million a day.

Mr O'Connor said the ad demonstrates the concern surrounding problem gambling. Many of the 60 people who agreed to appear in it did so because they have seen first-hand the harm it causes.

The campaign is the first phase of a comprehensive social marketing programme developed by the Health Sponsorship Council to highlight the damaging ripple-on effect of gambling harm in homes and communities.

Local activities in support of the campaign are planned tomorrow in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

As well as television, the campaign will utilise radio (with a focus on Maori and Pacific audiences) and Asian print and web media.

The public will have access to information resources specially developed for the campaign via a website Advice and support will also be available through the Gambling Helpline 0800 654-655.


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