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Māori Party Not Convinced By Convention Report

MEDIA STATEMENT
Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki
Tuesday 19th February 2013

Māori Party Not Convinced By Convention Report

Problem gambling bill sponsor, Te Ururoa Flavell, is alarmed by revelations in the Auditor General’s report that the Inquiry Report concludes that they “do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even-handed.”

The report clearly states that one submitter was treated differently from the others during the evaluation process of responses to the Expressions of Interest request.

“SkyCity received a ‘materially different’ response than other organisations who tendered for the right to establish an international convention centre and the Auditor General states this was inconsistent with principles of transparency and fairness,” said Te Ururoa Flavell.

“The report also identified a range of deficiencies in the advice provided and the steps leading up to the decision.”

“We take this advice seriously. New Zealanders require assurance that any partnerships negotiated by Government are appropriately managed. We want to see much more evidence of the analysis of the social hazard dimension associated with problem gambling than one paragraph in a 70 page report,” stated Te Ururoa (see part 7.3 of report).

“On 18 January 2011, the Ministry of Economic Development hired a financial analyst to help inform the Government’s negotiating position. Apparently that advice considered whether any gambling harm minimisation measures would be necessary to balance the value of the concessions sought.”

“We believe all New Zealanders need to know the nature of the advice put forward from both this analysis and advice from the Department of Internal Affairs to truly understand the social effects of any gambling concessions.”

“We categorically reject any opportunity for SkyCity to benefit from special provisions such as an increase in gaming tables and machines at the Auckland casino.”

“The Māori Party has consistently spoken out against any initiatives which facilitate gambling as a social hazard. Indeed, the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill that I have sponsored is specifically designed to prevent and minimise harm, ensure money from gambling benefits the community and facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.”

“The Auditor General is ‘satisfied that the issues have received adequate attention’ and notes that any reforms of this kind will also be debated publicly and by Parliament before they can be implemented. It is the Māori Party’s intention to make sure the social hazards of problem gambling are a key facet of this debate.”

ENDS

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