Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Dunne: UF delivers Gambling Bill aces

Media Statement For immediate release Wednesday, 3 September, 2003

Dunne: UF delivers Gambling Bill aces

Gambling profits raised in local communities will go back to those communities after United Future negotiations with the Government put paid to the idea of centralised distribution and the whole new bureaucracy that it would have required.

"We were strongly opposed to the Green-driven clause centralising all profits and having them dolled out from afar by some politically-correct bureaucracy," United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"Frankly, it was lunacy, and a fine example of the old idiom, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'," he said, after successful negotiations for a number of changes to the Responsible Gambling Bill, which should move to the committee stage tomorrow.

"We made it very clear that this bill would not have our backing while a centralised profit-grab remained.

"Now if the Night Caps Rugby Club needs $500, the merits of its case will be decided in that area, and likewise those who best know local needs will decide on grants for the likes of the Kaikohe Bonsai Association, and the Reefton Potters Guild.

"Local trusts know local needs. The last thing we needed was another layer of bureaucracy.

"Well-structured, accountable charitable trusts always have and always will have a better feel for what is needed in their communities than a centralised monolith in Wellington," he said.

Another key change United Future has negotiated into the Government's supplementary order paper (SOP) for the bill was gaming industry consultation on the problem gambling levy.

"The way the bill was initially drafted, the Health Ministry had virtual carte blanche to say to the industry: 'Here is what we plan to do for problem gamblers and this is what you have to pay'.

"They could basically name the figure and the industry would have had to just stump up with the cash with no consultation, explanation or justification required.

"That was clearly wrong, and the amendment we've negotiated means that the problem gambling levy will be decided by the Health Ministry in consultation with gaming industry representatives," Mr Dunne said.

Other key changes secured by United Future include:

* The Gaming Commission, as an appellate body, will be totally independent of Internal Affairs gaming authorities and report directly to the Minister, and not the department.

* The overturning of the Government Administration Select Committee ban on note-accepting gaming machines, with maximum $20 note-acceptor machines permissible, in line with Australian standards.

United Future's internal affairs spokesman Marc Alexander added that the party was very happy with a number of Labour amendments agreed during negotiations and contained in the SOP.

"We're particularly pleased with the changes allowing the Lotteries Commission to move into Internet-based gaming.

"And it was crucial that a strong stance was taken against under-age gambling, and this has been achieved with a strengthened commitment to keeping key venues free of gaming," Mr Alexander said.

"We will certainly not see gaming machines in dairies, supermarkets and the likes, which could only encourage teenage gambling," he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels