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North Shore Council Trading on Unethical Funding

01/12/2008

North Shore City Council Trading on Unethical Funding

Last week the North Shore City Council narrowly voted to go with capping pokie machine numbers rather than bringing in a sinking lid policy.

The majority of submitters, over 300, wanted a sinking lid policy, which over years would have reduced pokie machine numbers.

So why was the Council so gutless in its decision making?

It got swayed that its community funding would die overnight if they brought in a sinking lid. If the Council had made this decision it would have sent a clear message to the community that 'enough is enough'.

But no, North Shore are happy to continue the trend to fund the community through pokie machines, even though for every $1 returned, the community has had to lose $3.

"What were they scared of? Losing voters support? Department of Internal Affairs research shows a dramatic increase in people thinking that pokies are socially undesirable - up from 36% in 1995 to 64% in 2005. So the Council, by showing some moral and ethical leadership would have 'won' in their citizens eyes," says David Coom, Communications Director of the Problem Gambling Foundation

New Zealanders lose about $1 billion a year on pokies and it is estimated that between 10,000 to 60,000 people have gambling problems, and for every gambler, 5 other people are hugely affected. That means anywhere between 50,000 to 300,000 people are adversely affected by pokie machines.


ENDS

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