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Candidates Should Stand Together on Gamble-free Day

Te Ururoa Flavell Encourages Candidates to Stand Together on Gamble-free Day

Māori Party Co-leader and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is calling on all candidates in the 2014 General Election to stand together on Gamble-free Day, 1 September, to campaign against the profound harm problem gambling causes to the health and wellbeing of family, friends and the wider communities.

“If every one of the 554 candidates standing in this year’s election spoke up about harmful gambling it could do so much to increase awareness, reduce the stigma and foster conversations about the physical, emotional and financial impacts.”

“Sadly, it is usually our most vulnerable – the children of low income parents – who suffer the consequences of what we have called the social hazard of gambling in communities. The sad truth is that for every whanau member with a gambling problem up to 10 other people are also affected by their behaviour.”

“My private members bill that was passed into law last year was primarily to raise awareness in our communities about the effects of gambling, particularly pokie machines – the most harmful form of gambling.”

“My premise was that the system incentivises the exploitation of gambling addiction and I wanted to do what I could to eliminate the harm. Councils, as a result of my bill, now have more tools to enable the transfer of gaming venues into other areas; to enable councils to further reduce the number of gaming venues.”

“But we all need to be more vigilant of the impacts of problem gambling harm. It doesn’t have to be this way. Councils can show leadership – but so too can all of us, candidates, community leaders, whanau members. There's no time better than the first day of Spring for a new start.”


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