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


Te Ururoa Flavell speech: Vote Internal Affairs Debate

Tuesday, 9 August 2011 9:26 PM


In Committee - Vote Internal Affairs

TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki)245FLAVELL, TE URUROA21:26:22TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki): Kia ora anō tātou. Kia ora e te Whare. I will just take a call in respect of the estimates debate on Vote Internal Affairs to say that the Māori Party’s interest in this vote relates specifically to the Gambling Act 2003. It has been reported that Māori people spend almost twice as much on gambling as non-Māori do. They each spend approximately $686 per year compared with $376 per year for non-Māori. This is a highly significant figure, as the Māori median income is half that of non-Māori. I raise this issue on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, because essentially it is about the health and well-being of tangata whenua.

It is about whānau ora. Although all eyes in Aotearoa this year will be on the Rugby World Cup, I also highlight an important item on the international radar next year. The fourth International Gambling Conference is being held in Auckland on 22 to 24 February 2012, hosted by Hāpai Te Hauora Tāpui - Māori public health, a gambling and addictions research centre at Auckland University of Technology, and the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand. The theme is te ao hurihuri me te petipeti—the world of gambling today. It reflects the fact that across the world gambling industries are changing and evolving, expanding into new markets, and reaching new demographics. I look at the harm minimisation section of the estimates and, in particular, at the introduction of the integrated gambling platform. Basically, this allows jackpots to be automatically downloaded, letting jackpot winners continue to gamble without a break.

The Māori Party shares the concern of the select committee that this would be contrary to the principles of harm minimisation. One of the statistics, that most Māori youth—that is, 20 percent of the Māori population—are six times more likely to develop gambling problems than non-Māori youth, is one of the things that really scares us. We have to care, and we have to do something about that sort of statistic. From the estimates alone it would not appear that the social hazard of gambling harm has been really seriously thought about. Just 2 months ago the Government was proud of its breaking news about the building of a convention centre in the heart of Auckland. Despite the concerns raised by the Māori Party and other groups such as the Problem Gambling Foundation, it seems that the Government appeared not to give the issue too much of a second thought. Well, I can say that the Māori Party does care.

TE URUROA FLAVELL245 We are concerned about the social impact of increasing numbers of pokie machines and gambling tables at the Skycity Casino*, not to mention other high-risk casino gambling around the country. We have campaigned on the challenge “People before Pokies” to focus on the people and communities this money is coming from. Pokie machines are concentrated in our most vulnerable communities and 40 percent of the revenue from pokie machines comes from problem gamblers That is basically why I developed the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill to give real power to local authorities to keep the number of pokies down or, even better, eliminate them completely. The bill also put the onus on venue operators to keep track of each gambler’s overall losses and time spent gambling using a player tracking system, if you like. This is particularly relevant given the flow-on effects of the integrated gambling platform. It will be a sad day when profits from pokies are more important than people, and I can say that the Māori Party is here to ensure that that day never comes. Kia ora tātou.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels