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Everyone should support the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill

Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Party WHIP | MP for Waiariki

Wednesday 31st of August

Gamblefree Day 2011: Everyone should support the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill

On the eve of Gamblefree Day 2011 (1 September), Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell wants to encourage parties to support the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, which proposes a law change that would enable local authorities, in consultation with their communities, to reduce the number of pokie machines in their district.

“Gamblefree Day is all about bringing awareness to the harm caused by extreme gambling, so it is only fitting that I use this opportunity to highlight the importance of having changes made to the current legislation which allows for inefficiencies and risks unethical behaviour.” said Mr Flavell

“The Bill also seeks to review the current distribution of proceeds so that the funds taken from affected communities will have that returned to them in other ways.” Adds Mr Flavell.

“There has been remarkable interest in the Bill which has had the backing of a number of problem gambling groups.

“Small communities are already working together to overcome problem gambling. I am really buoyed by the momentum evident amongst many of our whānau, hapu and iwi who want to rid their communities of the harm that gambling is causing too many of their families.

“I commend the actions of the people of Tolaga Bay who have committed themselves to being a pokie machine-free town, and I encourage anyone else who is concerned about their community to contact their local MP and encourage them to support the Bill.” Ends Mr Flavell.

The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill is currently awaiting its first reading.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Source: Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand: Maori and problem gambling in NZ, June 2010

Gambling Helpline Ltd Services

• Maori were overrepresented.
• 29.6% new gambler clients were Maori.
• 14.5% of significant other clients phoning helpline were Maori.

Face to face counselling services

• One third or 28.6% new clients seeking help were Maori.
• 34.2% of significant other new clients attending counselling are Maori.
• Pokies were the primary mode of problem gambling for new clients.
• 8 out of ten (81.2%) of female Maori gamblers cited pokies for their gambling problem.
• Maori lost $1,498 on average in four weeks prior to seeking help.
• Maori women new clients are the second largest group after Pākeha men.

Ministry of Health client data showed that the number of Maori clients had risen to 36% in 2009

ENDS

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