Stuff NZ - Ban pokies for good? Salvo's and Problem Gambling's bid to Government

The Government is being urged to shut down New Zealand’s pokie machines and itself replace the grant money they generate for Kiwi community organisations and sports codes.

A coalition of The Salvation Army, Problem Gambling Foundation and Māori health agency Hapai te Hauora have written a ‘white paper’ for Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin arguing that the Government could easily replace the annual $242m of pokie grants from its own coffers.

Media Release: Authors of White Paper provide solution to end community sector dependence on pokie funding

In a White Paper released today, the Salvation Army Oasis, Hāpai Te Hauora Tapui and the Problem Gambling Foundation, provide a solution to end the community sector’s dependence on funding from pokie machines.

With pokie grants all but dried up due to the COVID-19 lockdown and consequent closure of pokie venues, the authors are calling on the government to initially roll over existing funding directly to community groups for six months with a view to long-term reform of the system.

Media Release: Temporary relief for sport and recreation puts spotlight on unsustainable funding model

A $25 million relief package has been created by Sport NZ to provide much needed relief for sports and recreation. The package is targeted primarily towards community and regional recreation and sporting bodies who are struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey highlights the need for pokie venues to up their host responsibility game.

New results from the latest Health Promotion Agency (HPA) Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS) report highlight the need for pubs and clubs who offer pokies to up their host responsibility game. Māori public health organisation Hāpai Te Hauora believe the results show that the hospitality sector must do their part to minimise and prevent gambling harm in Aotearoa.

Hāpai Te Hauora raise concerns after racing legislation rushed through Parliament

The New Zealand Wellbeing Budget was released only two weeks ago, representing a global anomaly in its attempts to prioritise the wellbeing of people in line with economic growth.

Selah Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Hāpai Te Hauora, says "The true measure of this budget’s commitment to wellbeing depends on the government’s ability to combine fiscal resourcing with meaningful policy and action across all domains of the public sector."