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Closure a disaster for Pasifika communities

Su’a William Sio
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

21 March 2014

Closure a disaster for Pasifika communities

The closure of the Problem Gambling Foundation is disastrous for Pasifika communities whose people are the biggest spenders on pokie machines, Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“The Foundation has led the charge in South Auckland against the damage caused by pokie machines, the most harmful form of gambling.

“However, the loss of Ministry of Health funding means it will be forced to close its Pasifika unit Mapu Maia.

“Mapu Maia has been a strong, independent and incorruptible Pasifika voice which has worked tirelessly since its creation five years ago. It has helped almost 12,000 Pasifika families in that time.

“The annual average spending of a Pasifika person on gambling is $13,468, while for Pakeha it is $1761 and for Maori it is $2829.

“The Foundation has clearly become a victim of its own strong advocacy role. It has lost its funding because the Government doesn’t like it speaking out against National’s dodgy convention centre for pokies deal.

“Yet again, National is looking after its mates at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders,” Su’a William Sio says.

ENDS

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