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Gambling inquiry must be independent - Greens

6 November 2000

Gambling inquiry must be independent - Greens

The Green Party is calling for the comprehensive review of the gambling industry to be conducted by an independent body.

Green Party Gambling Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today that it would be inappropriate for the present regulator, the Department of Internal Affairs, to carry out the review and that the independence of the inquiry was crucial.

"The Department of Internal Affairs must take some responsibility for the inadequate regulatory framework over the last decade, the failure to take on board community concerns with respect to gambling, the absence of social impact assessments of the impact of gambling, and the explosion of 'pokie' machines in New Zealand, Ms Kedgley said.

"Clearly what is needed is an inquiry team which brings a fresh, independent perspective to this serious social problem," Ms Kedgley said.

Ms Kedgley said gambling was a huge, but still largely hidden problem in New Zealand, and she welcomed the Government's commitment to a wide-ranging review.

But she hoped the government would take on board the concerns of the Coalition for Gambling Reform and other bodies that, to have credibility, the inquiry must be independent.

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6717, 025 270 9088

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