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Gambling Harm Reduction Bill Passes Third Reading

Wednesday 4th September 2013

Gambling Harm Reduction Bill Passes Third Reading

Maori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is pleased that his private members bill, the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill has passed its final reading, but is vowing to keep the pressure on the industry and fight for whanau wellbeing.

“The Bill has successfully drawn attention to the issues in the gambling industry which impact on whanau wellbeing. It has also been critical in putting gambling harm reduction on the agenda. In that way, this Bill has been a catalyst for change, and I am very proud of that.”

“While I am pleased that the Bill has passed its final reading, it is a bitter sweet moment for me. When I think back to where we came from and the original intent of the Bill, of course I am disappointed, but I have chosen to pursue change, and in my view this Bill represents a small step in the right direction.”

“The Maori Party have been working with the Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain to ensure that change in the industry continues to happen. I have been assured by the Minister that there will be changes to regulation to make improvements to the transparency in the system, to allow for operators to move their pokie machines out of communities, and to look into harm minimisation technology.”

“As a suite of changes this is progress, and this will make a difference for our whanau.”

“Obviously there is more work to do to tackle the major issues in the industry. One of the biggest disappointments for me was the exclusion of the racing stake money as an authorised chartable purpose for proceeds. I think it’s ludicrous that we continue to give charitable money to an industry that turns over almost $1 Bill per year, and I intend to keep the pressure on them until we see change.”

“I will also be pursuing further change in the industry to ensure our communities are given greater power to make decisions over where pokie machines are located and to ensure that gambling harm on whanau is minimised.”

“So while I celebrate the passage of this Bill, we have only just scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of addressing the issue of gambling. This is not the end of the road.”


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