News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Children going hungry because of pokies

Children going hungry because of pokies

The Problem Gambling Foundation says more needs to be done to stop children in the Far North going hungry because their parents are spending money playing on the pokies.

The New Zealand Herald reports today of the frustrations of Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board, which has been feeding children at five schools in Kaitaia because “Mums and Dads are investing in the poker machines.”

Graham Aitken, Problem Gambling Foundation Acting CEO, says so often it is the children that are the innocent victims.

“The children aren’t getting fed because the money that puts food on the table is being fed into the pokie machines,” he says.

“The impact of problem gambling on families doesn’t stop at poverty – it can lead to family breakdown, domestic violence, suicide and crime.”

Mr Aitken says there is a significant social cost to communities from pokie machines.

“We want to see less of these dangerous machines in communities to reduce the harm that they cause,” he says.

“Over 40 percent of the money lost on pokie machines comes from people who have a problem with gambling on pokies.”

Kaitaia and surrounds has 81 pokie machines in six venues. Nearly $4 million per year is lost on pokie machines in the region.

The Problem Gambling Foundation believes people should have more say in the number of pokie machines and venues in their community.

“We welcome the Government’s plans for reviews on gambling legislation in the near future,” Graham Aitken says.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Roddy Doyle's Grim and Gritty Rosie

Although it was completed over two years ago, Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay in over eighteen years has only just arrived in New Zealand. It's been well worth the wait. More>>

Simon Nathan: No Ordinary In-Laws

The title of this short memoir by Keith Ovenden is misleading – it would be better called “Bill, Shirley and me” as it is an account of Ovenden’s memories of his parents-in-law, Bill Sutch and Shirley Smith. His presence is pervasive through the book. All three participants are (or were) eloquent, strongly-opinionated intellectuals who have made significant contributions to different aspects of New Zealand life. Their interactions were often complex and difficult... More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland