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


Speech Notes For Gambling Bill Short Title

9 September 2003

Tackling the causes of poverty

Speech Notes For Short Title To Gambling Bill Committee Stages

HON. Matt Robson
Progressive Deputy Leader

I rise to speak with a sense of both pride, but also I admit Mr Speaker, and deep feeling of both regret and disappointment.

The disappointment is symbolized by the fact that this Bill is now called the Gambling Bill, not the Responsible Gambling Bill.

The Progressive Party supports people having fun and I've been known to put a bet on sport myself with little success But we are also deeply concerned to protect families and especially the children of those people afflicted with problem gambling problems.

Unlike United Future, and their potential partners in the next government, the ACT Party, we are serious about protecting the liberty, freedom and future of the children of problem gamblers.

In its first term, the centre-left coalition government was able to introduce the Responsible Gambling Bill and that wouldn't have been possible without the support of our then Supporting Party – the Green Party.

We live in an MMP world.

Neither the first Clark-Anderton coalition, not the current Labour-Progressive government, ever held a majority in this House.

The reality of MMP dictates that to make any progress at all in making the gambling industry more family-friendly, less potentially harmful to our society, the minority centre-left Labour Progressive coalition requires the support of at least one Opposition party – no different a situation than in the last Parliament.

In the last Parliament, I was confident that we'd get strong legislation which would please anti-poverty campaigners because the Greens were lined up here with us.

Because the Greens, like the Progressives, knew the importance of cutting and then capping the number of pokie machines in New Zealand.

We on the progressive Left knew the importance of not making it any easier for addicted gamblers to throw their families' dollar notes into pokie machines or to have an open slather Internet gambling regime and since we have 63 seats in Parliament we should have had much more to celebrate today.

The truth is that the Progressive and the Greens were making progress with Labour.

And then sometime earlier this year the Greens walked away.

They weren't getting everything they wanted, so they walked out the door.

No doubt there is momentary emotional satisfaction in walking away from issues when the negotiating gets tough.

We'll we didn't get everything we wanted either, but we refuse to walk away. If we walk away the legislation will fall because Labour and United have just 60 seats in this Parliament – not enough to enact anything.

And if we walked away the improvements to gambling regulations undoubtedly contained in this Bill would be lost. We'd make no progress at all.

I urge the Green Party, with all comradely respect from an ally on many issues, please consider the effect of your collective decision.

The lesson of what you have done on this Bill has ramifications for every other Bill of relevance to the centre left as a whole.

When you walk you leave a vacuum. When you walk Labour has only one direction it can turn – to United Future or NZ First – parties that are proud to say they'd go into coalition with ACT after the next election.

You left a vacuum of numbers which was filled by the United Future Party – a party that says it is pro-families but will vote against four weeks' annual leave for the most vulnerable families in New Zealand that most need four weeks to enable them to stay in the workforce while also having families – that is, to stay off welfare and in work.

I ask the Green Party again to please learn from the position we find ourselves in this House today.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Compelling Case For Meatless Meat

Talk about living in a bubble. As vegetarianism and veganism become normalised – there are more options on restaurant menus! - it can be easy to think that the whole world is gradually giving up on meat. Alas, the reverse is true. Americans for instance consumed 100 kilograms of meat and poultry in 2018, up from 75 kilograms in 1960, according to the US Department of Agriculture figures... More>>


Pay Policy: CTU Public Service Unions Meet With Public Service Minister

The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services. CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was ... More>>

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>


Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels