The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill

Comment received.

Submitted on 2012/06/03 at 10:48 pm

Yes and in the face of all these rorts the big trusts, Lion Foundation and Pub Charity are rallying support – encouraging their favoured grant applicants to make submissions to Govt on the new pokie bill which if passed intends doing away with all pokie trusts (and their rorts) within 12 months.

When Francis Weavers, the ex CEO of the Community Gaming Association (CGA), an organisation set up by and for the benefit of Pokie Trusts, submits an official report to the Govt claiming endemic non compliance and corruption within the industry you have got to wonder just how bad it has all become and wonder why this Govt has not shown more leadership with DIA and the industry.

Seriously, this has now grown into a serious law and order issue involving “white collar” criminals – something this Govt said it was tough on.


See comment below to read Weavers’ report.

The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill is a private member’s bill that was proposed by Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell.

It was drawn from the ballot in September 2010 and concluded its first parliamentary reading on Wednesday 9 May 2012. Parliament voted to send the bill to the Commerce Select Committee for consideration. The committee has six months to consider submissions before it must report back to parliament. The matter is scheduled to be heard in the House on 9 November 2012.

The purpose of the bill is:
a) To prevent and minimise the harm caused by gambling, including problem gambling.
b) To ensure that money from gambling benefits the community.
c) To facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.

Submissions close on Thursday, 21 June 2012
Have your say in creating better gambling laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee.

Submissions can be mailed to:

Commerce Committee
Select Committee Office
Parliament Buildings

### Thu, 10 May 2012 5:30a.m.
Pokie reduction bill passes first reading
A bill giving local authorities the power to cut back on pokie machines in pubs and clubs, or get rid of them altogether, has passed its first reading in Parliament with strong support.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, ORFU, Other, Politics

78 responses to “The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill

  1. Elizabeth

    Released under the Official Information Act

    Options for change in the Class 4 Gambling Sector
    Report by Francis Weavers (January 2011)

    SKMBT_C452 12040316410 (PDF, 557 KB)

    Comments from Source:

    This report is now in public domain after DIA resisted its release and you’d have to ask why that is. It is highly significant because of the position Weavers held within the industry, the CEO of the industry’s own association, which as you can imagine gave him intimate knowledge and insight, so much so he is prepared to use very serious words such as “corruption” or “endemic non compliance.”

    Further, Weavers’ reign as CEO of the Community Gaming Association (CGA) began at a time when the Gambling Act 2003 was introduced and enacted by the Labour Government to give the public a greater level of confidence in the sector, clean up the rorts, and more importantly give DIA some teeth to do their job. Sadly, we know the rest of that story.

    Weavers resigned at the end of 2010 and was immediately commissioned (and presumably paid) to provide the DIA Minister, Nathan Guy with a report.

    In his time as CEO Weavers and his chairman Paul East (ex National MP) sat in the board room with the CEO’s of the big trusts and heard every angle about what was going on in the industry. He even used to lock horns on their behalf with DIA and, of course, make public media announcements for the members.

    Under his reign the CGA was powerful because all the big trusts – Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Southern, TTCF and NZCT – were signed-up members and had a place on the board. We’re not sure why the CGA membership fees would be considered a good use of community funds but DIA let it go.

    The demise started when the biggest most powerful member, Lion Foundation, left the CGA because it didn’t like sitting around the table with its competition. They were also anti smaller trusts that the DIA were allowing to set up which ultimately was eating away at the power of the big trusts. The other big trusts soon followed. Make no mistake the big trusts want pokies all for themselves and they quickly found another way to get what they want from the Government – stack their pokie trust boards with politically connected (untouchable) people and simply engage corporate lawyers paid out of community funds to bully the hapless DIA.

    Weavers’ frustration was obvious. He kept warning the industry that if they didn’t start behaving themselves voluntarily they would be gone and the distribution model changed. He’d tried introducing a code of compliance that all CGA members were required to sign up to but that also failed because Pokie Trusts figured out pretty quickly that DIA do nothing anyway. This meant there was no disincentive not to comply and the big trusts knew it.

    The Green Party are all over this. Labour are as good as useless. National agreed to support it to select committee as part of the confidence and supply deal with the Maori Party but also because they didn’t want to be seen to be pro the industry corruption. What should concern us all is Te Ururoa Flavell’s lack of voice at this time, a time when he should be outraged and using the media to ram this bill home and be rid of Pokie Trusts. You’d have to wonder why.


    • Elizabeth

      DIA in more hot water too for failing to observe this tendency?
      Does DIA do anything for its lunch?

      ### Wednesday 6 June 2012
      Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
      09:08 Are gaming trusts misusing money?
      Are gaming trusts using money meant for the community to oppose a bill which seeks to reform the industry? Kathryn talks to Graeme Ramsay, chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation, who has laid a complaint with the Department of Internal Affairs, and Martin Cheer, CEO of Pub Charity Inc. (21′32″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      “Graeme Ramsey is the chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation – he’s laid a complaint with the Department of Internal Affairs, questioning the actions of pokie trusts who he says are spending money advocating against the bill which should be going towards community purposes; and Martin Cheer, CEO of Pub Charity Inc, New Zealand’s oldest gaming trust, which is responsible for distributing $28 million a year in donations from pokie machines.”

  2. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Jun 2012
    Pokie trusts accused of misusing community cash
    Pokie charities have been accused of using money meant for community projects to oppose a proposed law change which threatens their survival. A complaint has been lodged with the Department of Internal Affairs asking if gaming trusts were legally entitled to spend money to oppose a bill which seeks to reform the gaming industry. The gaming sector’s lobbying has had an effect on senior Cabinet ministers, said Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, who drafted the bill. Mr Flavell’s private member’s bill would strip power from the gaming trusts which dominate the $700 million pokie industry in pubs and clubs.
    Read more

    ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Jun 2012
    Pokies payout claims rejected
    By Hamish McNeilly
    A pokies executive has slammed a claim that Otago would be $11 million better off if a controversial Bill handing the distribution of gaming cash to local government was introduced. Pokie trusts would be stripped of their ability to distribute funds in favour of committees appointed by local councils under the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill. If the Bill, drafted by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, was passed into law, Otago would see an extra $11 million returned to the community, Green Party gambling spokeswoman Denise Roche said.

    According to 2010 Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) figures, pokie trusts returned an average of 41% of proceeds to Otago groups, but the new Bill would require 80% be returned.

    Read more

  3. Anonymous

    The 80% proposed in the bill is intended to mean that 80% of the money raised or lost to pokies in one community will stay and be distributed in that community hence avoiding the ORFU/TTCF where money went from South Auckland to Otago. The remaining 20% will be discretionary but is intended to allow some flexibility for the funding of national causes and charities that work throughout NZ eg earthquakes, special olympics etc.

    It does not mean that 80% of the total pokie revenue (approx $800-$900 million) will go back to the community because there are taxes and costs in running any system.

    With pokie trusts the current return is about 40% (the law sets a 37.12% minumum) so my guess is that a new model without 50 pokie trusts has to be able to beat that but more importantly do it with out the rorts in a more fair and transparent manner.

    The pokie industry are shrewd commercial operators who will take any excuse to deflect from their own performance and stay in the game. It has been allowed to become a complex industry so Politicians from all sides owe it to NZ at this time to do their homework and wise up or they will be dealing with this crap in 3 years time.

    • Elizabeth

      Can only hope submissions received on the bill are wide enough to stonker unworthy claims made by the fraudulent pokie industry.

      Also, it’s a matter of huge contention, via this bill, that wayward and dishonest local authorities like Dunedin City Council (up to the gunnels in debt) might end up administering or apportioning gambling funds.

      • Elizabeth

        A strong parallel to the ORFU debacle. Only, the rugby board mob don’t wear patches yet.

        ### ODT Online Fri, 15 Jun 2012
        Mob-linked trust given grants: report
        By Hamish McNeilly
        A confidential report on a Dunedin-based charitable trust with links to the Mongrel Mob reveals the trust received several Government grants, including one for healthy eating. The Otago Daily Times last month reported that a four-month investigation by Dunedin police had led to the arrest of 10 men, some with Mongrel Mob Notorious connections. Four Dunedin men were charged with dishonestly converting $20,000 of trust money, with links to Government funding. Police named the trust as the We Against Violence Trust.
        Read more

  4. Pip

    Replace the words TPK with TTCF Ltd, Mongrel Mob with ORFU and hey presto – only difference being $20k (TPK) versus $6 million (TTCF Ltd) and substitute “Police arrests” with “no DIA action”.
    There are clearly 2 levels of justice operating in NZ!

  5. Anonymous

    A quote from the IT Crowd: “Conrad Black, the first rich person to go to prison in over 300 years.”

    The name may be meaningless in this instance but the point is valid.

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous, it depends a little on the nature of the crime – where the wealthy and connected are concerned. Also taking into account the political vagaries and partialities of the New Zealand judiciary, should cases come before them.

      The injustices affecting local people not only include glaring instances of the regulatory authorities’ unwillingness to attack, by legal means, those responsible for ORFU’s obvious (now media reported) slide into criminal activity in the last decade or so – see ‘in your face’ rorts of common kind, of very high dollar worth as Pip says – but also the reluctance of sporting peers, employees, professional colleagues, news editors, wives and families, and others in the know – including Dunedin City Council which rather than force ORFU into liquidation continues to rort ratepayers through the bailout package, and sweetheart deals between DVML and ORFU (as yet undisclosed, the stuff to “enrage”) – to wise up and shop ‘their men’.

      ORFU’s showered-and-suited of rugby management, it is alleged, have misused millions of dollars of pokie-derived charitable funds by various mechanisms; at the same time placing their multimillion dollar demand (worth HUNDREDS of millions of dollars) for a new stadium at the door of gullible local government, massaged by the desire of central government to maintain appearances in front of Sky cameras tuned to an international audience (much smaller than that of football). The kindly visage/facade, or farce, of a healthy rugby nation. Where is NZRU in all of this.

      This indefensible collective crime of largesse (corporate fraud amongst it) has visited harshly on the ratepayers of Dunedin and Otago through the woolliness of the Local Government Act and derelict actions by each of the elected city and regional councillors who refuse to exercise prudent and conservative management of ratepayer funds, as the law demands.

      There is not one councillor free from blame or guilt; to not speak out is fact of their complicity and abject failure.

      The darkest irony is, Mayor Dave Cull has chosen to be forthright and blunt in his opinion of ORFU, perhaps the safest person to indeed make the point and deliver the goods properly legally, in defence, at court in the weeks to come. If he will.

      Would you support the gambling bill in its current form, in the hope it cleans out the ‘industry’ responsible for generating and distributing pokie funds by illegal means to rugby ‘greats’ (and others) if it leads to local authorities like Dunedin City Council – no longer trusted to act with the intent of legislation it is governed by (the law) for benefit of the general citizenry – gaining responsibility for the distribution of gambling proceeds.

      There is no independence here. Not for Dunedin.

      A body along the lines of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission is needed for greater public safety.

  6. Pip

    Giving the pokie money to councils will be fraught with the same problems we have seen with ORFU and DCC- no accountability.

    We deserve a charitable grant system (like the lotteries commission) which is free from the liquor industry, free from property developers, free from big business and professional sport. Unfortunately these are the very groups City Councillors like to hang out with and why many run for council in the first place.

    There are some good alternatives in the Weavers Report – option 3 and “Change proposal”

  7. Anonymous

    Good alternatives are not something this council is fond of, especially when it comes to rugby and pokies. You only have to review the process leading to the 2010 decision to maintain the “status quo” instead of a sinking lid policy on pokies.

    Over 800 submissions were received and over 700 of those were in favour of the sinking lid policy.

    Guest which way the committee decided?

    • Today’s print edition of ODT (page 8) carries an item titled ‘Decision to consult on existing pokie level cap’, by Debbie Porteous. No weblink available.

      It says: ‘Dunedin residents will be consulted on whether the number of gambling venues and pokies in the city should be capped at the existing level.’

      This week, ‘Councillors voted against the recommendation to retain the status quo [championed by staff], but then, after concerns raised by Crs Andrew Noone, Colin Weatherall and John Bezett about the potential effect on community groups as a result of losing income from gambling proceeds, then voted against consulting on adopting a sinking-lid policy.’

      Note the names of those three councillors.

      • ”New Zealanders are starting to see pokies for what they are … dangerous machines.”
        –Graeme Ramsey, Problem Gambling Foundation

        ### ODT Online Sun, 24 Mar 2013
        Online gambling linked to lower pokie spending
        The increased popularity of online gambling may be reducing the amount of money returned to the community through grants, a Dunedin City Council committee has been told. Spending on Dunedin’s pokies has been trending downwards, with $5,730,681.28 spent between April and June 2007, compared to $4,720,582.89 between October and December 2012.
        In New Zealand, gaming machines or ”pokies” are operated by charitable trusts. By law, around a-third of all takings have to be returned to the community as grants.
        The city has 42 gaming machines venues, down from 55 in June 2007.
        Read more

  8. Rob Hamlin

    The best way to deal with this issue is to set the pokie machines by law at 100% return. That way 100% of the money gets returned to those that most need it – the individuals and their families who feed the machines in the first place. Pub owners may moan about the cost of maintaining them without revenue, but they already pay 100% of the considerable costs of pub Sky as a client entertainment, and don’t charge the punters for watching it. I cannot see why pokies should not be treated the same way as pub Sky TV as pokies and pub Sky deliver pretty much the same intellectual content to their users.

    I agree with Amanda that putting this flow of doubtful funds into councils will simply transfer the virus of organised corruption right into the nerve centres of local government via the transfer of the infectious bacillus of ‘skilled’ managers from one money vessel into another.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Good suggestion, Rob – as usual. The point of pub entertainment is to entice people into the pub and keep them there longer, drinking & eating more, the profits on which go to the pub. That should be sufficient. If not then it’s up to them to remove the pokies, a plain business decision that they would be free to make for themselves without further interference from councils etc.
    This would take away the expense of licence granting and approvals and appeals, because if stupidity/gambling-addiction tax were returned to the local community to provide the services that gamblers wasted their health & nutrition and education money on, it would all balance out fairly well without much delay in provision of necessary services.

  10. Pip

    Hosting pokie machines is a real earner for pubs. Most rely on the pokie payments for the survival of their entire liquor business which is not meant to be the case. Pubs are paid up to $170 per week per machine. Thats 18 machines x $170 per week = $160,000 per annum.

    This broken system is built around pokie trusts looking after and competing for pubs in which to place their machines. Community funds and philanthropy are the last cab off the rank and get what is left – thats after the losses from the rorts and the massive defense lawyers bills have also been deducted from the community pot.

  11. Elizabeth

    Email from Cr Vandervis:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    As the email below indicates, have tried hard to get statements into the public domain re pokie fraud and OR FU plunder of Dunedin ratepayers.
    The emails below show attempts to ODT, Dscene, and SST.
    I believe I sent the initial email to you too.

    Why then the recent comment from you;
    “There is not one councillor free from blame or guilt; to not speak out is fact of their complicity and abject failure.”?
    I don’t claim to be blameless on all counts, but my vigilance and speaking out on Stadium and ORFU plunder including pokies has been consistent and strident [to my personal cost] for many years.
    Further, it was Mayor Cull’s paraphrasing my non-public sentiments [and some others] that got him sued.


    [emails removed]

  12. Calvin Oaten

    {Calvin’s been away for a couple of weeks, he came back to an implosion of about 140 emails… Yes, all hell’s breaking loose, Calvin! We sincerely apologise for losing your opening comment to the opinion piece below – we hit a snag with mobile phone connection in the early evening which caused your whole post to drop out. -Eds}

    The piece I submitted to ODT’s Phil Somerville on May 16th hasn’t showed, so I assume it was canned.

    Subject: An Opinion

    The long running saga of the Stadium project has arrived at the interesting stage where the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report commissioned by the Dunedin City Council has been received. This was requested in order to determine the true costs of the stadium to ascertain what burden the city – and by extension – the ratepayers would be carrying. It has revealed that the full cost of the project, including interest, amounts to $224.4 million. An increase in the actual build of $8.4m over the projected $198m. This in itself is no surprise to those who have followed this project, and indeed, is in line with some of those estimating the real costs. It does not of course include “collateral’ costs such as the Carisbrook purchase nor the city cost of the State Highway 88 diversion, nor ongoing operational losses. None of which were part of the PwC brief.

    However, the revelation of most interest is the confirmation that the Private Funding was not construction funding, but could only be treated as ongoing operating revenue. Likewise the Otago University’s investment was largely used for its own development purposes, with, at best, only $2.3m contributing to the stadium build. This is hugely important as it was clearly stated at the outset that the stadium budget included Private Funding over $40m and the University’s as $10m. This
    was reiterated in three consecutive Long Term Annual Plans, 2007/08 through 2009/10. It vindicates long held opinions by many people.

    Now it is quite clear that if the original budget to council presented, showed a shortfall of over $50m, it is highly unlikely that the stadium would have been approved for construction. That would have been the end of it. So what can be deduced from this?

    It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that it was a plan conceived and perpetrated by the proponents of the stadium, in order to get approval and commencement of the project. This would have needed the tacit support of significant senior people within the DCC, as it was the deciding body. Why would they do this? Could it be that pressure was being brought to bear from influential quarters, not least the rugby fraternity? It was rugby which stood to benefit the most with the new stadium.

    If this is true, then it could only be construed as fraud. Fraud, as in the use of false representation in order to deceive. Fraud, which was perpetuated over a long period during which sworn affidavits and legal presentations were submitted in a court of law which may well now be seen as perjurious. A very serious state indeed. That our mayors and councillors have accepted this potentially ugly situation, either knowingly or in ignorance, is no credit to them.

    The most telling outcome of all this is loss of trust and respect. Trust in, and respect for, all the persons and groups involved, the CST, ORFU, ORC, substantial financial institutions, accounting and law organisations, knights of the realm, professional directors, and worst of all, our civic administrators and elected mayors and councillors. The fact that none of these people – with the exception of a minority of councillors – spoke up when it became obvious that all was not above board speaks volumes.

    Meanwhile we are witness to the unedifying spectacle of two of those prominent people suing our Mayor for defamation in the form of obscene amounts of citizens’ treasure. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice would say: “It just gets awfuler and awfuler.”

    Calvin Oaten

  13. Amanda

    Exactly. Fraud. That is the word Cull and the stadium councillors are trying their very hardest for us all to forget so that we get on with the important job of paying for the stadium while those who have benefited from the thing (oh let me see, like the lucky people who owned the land the stadium is built on) sail off into the sunset to Queenstown.

  14. Anonymous

    Gforce77 says “These are the people we can blame if the stadium did fail” on ODT Online.

    I think he means people who disagree with his support of the stadium but I don’t blame the poster for taking the easy road. Some of the Tartan Mafia could “change manage” your livelihood without blinking an eye and that’s something few are prepared to tackle head on.

    Personally I don’t “blame” either side for their opinions on it. But I do hold the leaders accountable who promoted it, voted for it and ran it.

    If it fails, it is these people who are to blame.

  15. Anonymous

    The ORFU submission on the annual plan where they indicated that Carisbrook would be gifted to the city could likewise be questioned.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s that word gifted.
    How come when the city gets something gifted the ratepayers get re-shafted?

  17. Elizabeth

    ### Monday, 25 June 2012
    Richard Boock (Sunday Star Times 24/6/12) on pokie funding of sport

    IT’S HARD to parody sport these days. Seriously, the type of material that might have once brought down the house at a stand-up comedy festival is now being uttered with poker-like faces at business and management meetings. And the thing is, no-one laughs at all. Where once there would have been people gasping for air and weeping at the humour of it all, now there are just sage nods and frowns of concern. Nothing seems too absurd.

    The latest episode surrounds sport’s reaction to an attempt to reduce gambling and gambling- related harm in New Zealand, via Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling Amendment Bill. This is a plan to both lessen the negative effects of gambling in New Zealand and to better distribute pokie machines proceeds than they are at present. If the bill is passed, 80 per cent of the funds will have to be returned to the regions in which they were collected.

    You might expect sport would support these types of noble objectives. After all, problem gambling is an ongoing blight within the community; sport is part of the community, therefore it stands to gain as much as anyone, right? Yes? Well, actually no. The way sport sees it, the more gambling we have, the more pokie machine money it can get its hands on, therefore the healthier its bank balance. It opposes change for specifically this reason.

    No, I’m not having you on. Earlier this month the National Sports Organisations Leadership Group, representing most of the country’s biggest codes, lobbied its members to oppose the bill on the grounds reduced gambling would equate to reduced funding. Naturally enough, it also had massive problems with the redistribution proposal, sensing it would miss out there as well. Fewer funds for sport, it argued, was a greater concern than less problem gambling.

    Truly, sport’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds. Even when it was pointed out to the NSOLG that its opposition to the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill was inappropriate, it chose to remain in denial. Chairwoman Raelene Castle recently tried to justify the stance on the basis that “gambling is a reality in every society in the world”. It nicely summed up the group’s sense of responsibility. If it’s a reality and there’s money in it, sport’s happy to suck it dry.
    Read more

    ItsABigFatLie (NZ) sidebar:
    Pokie ‘trusts’ have been in New Zealand for over 20 years, collecting billions of dollars lost on pokie machines, a large proportion of which is lost by people who are addicted to gambling.
    Almost all of these trusts are self-appointed groups who dish out grants to community organisations they think are the most deserving – in the past, political parties, fishing trips to Hawaii and professional sports like rugby, cricket and horse-racing have all received grants.
    Even now, sports – especially the professional ones – get the largest proportion of grants.
    Pokie trusts have a lot of money to spread around. They have on many occasions turned up to hearings run by local Councils, and effectively threatened them with the loss of grants going into their communities if they are not allowed to keep their pokie machine numbers up, where and when they want them.
    About $600 million a year is lost into pokie machines owned by these ‘trusts’, but only about 40% of that is returned to sports and community groups – the rest (about $360 million) is kept by the pokie trusts to cover their own expenses, including taxes.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    I would like to gift a word to the National Sports Organisations Leadership Group: “Sociopathists”.
    Instead of the mouthful of 5 words that one would quickly gain recognition in the community, expressing as it does the values and modus operandi of the organisation.

    • Elizabeth

      ### Sunday 22 July 2012
      Sunday Morning with Chris Whitta

      10:06 Ideas: Gambling – harmless flutter or community addiction?
      Chris talks to David Grant, the author of “On a Roll: A History of Gambling and Lotteries in New Zealand” (Victoria University Press); and Peter Adams, a University of Auckland associate professor of community health and the author of “Gambling, Freedom and Democracy” (Routledge, New York) tells Jeremy Rose about his concerns that the community has become addicted to the proceeds of gambling addiction. (44′40″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  19. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Aug 2012
    Visit to highlight impact of gambling
    By Hamish McNeilly
    New Zealand hip hop heavyweight Scribe is coming to Dunedin to share his personal struggle with pokies. Malo Luafatu – aka Scribe – will visit the city next Friday as part of a national tour aimed at highlighting the impact of gambling harm. The popular hip hop artist was addicted to pokies, playing almost every day and lying to his family about the extent of his problem.
    Read more

    “SCRIBE with US to Help End Gambling Harm”
    Free Community Event

    What: Dunedin Choice Not Chance Community Fest
    Who: Malo Luafatu, aka Scribe, NZ hip hop artist
    Where: Mayfair Theatre, King Edward Street, South Dunedin
    When: Friday 24 August 2012
    Time: 10am to 2pm

    Event Information:

    • Elizabeth

      Scribe was in Dunedin on Friday as part of a national tour aimed at highlighting the impact of gambling harm, which also gave budding artists the opportunity to perform in front of the multi-platinum-selling artist. The Mayfair Theatre event was organised by the Dunedin Youth Gambling Coalition, and “we want to do something bigger and better next year”, spokesman Chris Watkins said.

      ### ODT Sun, 26 Aug 2012
      Pokies cost Scribe more than money
      By Hamish McNeilly
      Pokies cost Scribe an estimated $100,000 but it was the loss of his children and partner that made him seek help for his gambling addiction. The hip-hop artist said he began playing pokies at a local Christchurch pub at the tender age of 14. “I grew up in a family where gambling was quite normal, and I thought it was normal.”
      Read more


      Super Rugby star confronts gambling.
      Willie Ripia regrets not seeking help for his addiction earlier.


      Gambling Helpline – 0800 654655

  20. Elizabeth

    ### 1:44 PM Thursday Aug 30, 2012
    Sports clubs campaigning against gambling bill
    By Isaac Davison
    Sports clubs that are worried about losing proceeds from pokies have been running a scaremongering campaign against new legislation, Maori MP Te Ururoa Flavell says. His gambling bill will phase out the trusts which distribute gambling money, and ensure that 80 per cent of gambling proceeds are redistributed directly back into the community they were taken from. After a select committee presentation this morning, Mr Flavell said groups with “vested interests” in gambling proceeds had been spreading misinformation about what the bill would do.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### Fri,14 Sep 2012
      Pokie law change threatens sports funding
      By Kate Shuttleworth
      A sports club in upmarket Remuera that has received millions of dollars in pokie machines proceeds says it will suffer if changes are made to gambling laws because there are only nine gaming machines in the suburb. College Rifles Rugby Club in Remuera receives up to $350,000 a year from “pokie trusts” – but has received an additional $2 million in the past three years to fund sports fields, a netball and tennis court, sports pavilion and cafe.

      Labour MP David Cunliffe said some of the poorest communities in Auckland and New Zealand, over-represented in gambling statistics, were contributing to funding first-class facilities in Remuera. “Why should poor people in Mangere be supplying first class facilities for Remuera?”

      Read more

    • Further reforms to gaming sector announced
      Updated 10 minutes ago
      The Government has announced plans to further reform the gaming sector to reduce gambling harm, following significant changes to a Maori Party Member’s bill. Te Ururoa Flavell’s bill had several parts deleted or changed this week by a Parliamentary select committee because some of its proposed measures were deemed not practical.
      Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said that following consultation with the Maori Party, the Government will introduce regulations to increase the amount of community funding from gaming machines proceeds and improve the transparency of those grants. It will also allow gaming venues to move from low socio-economic areas without losing any of their gaming machines.
      Mr Tremain said legislation will be introduced later this year to crack down gaming societies that rort the system and allow the Department of Internal Affairs to cancel or suspend gaming licences.

  21. anon

    Rugby’s dependence upon people’s addiction is just one big bag of sickness.

  22. Elizabeth

    ### Thursday 6 September 2012
    Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep

    07:41 Council report finds community groups suffer under pokie deal
    Auckland communities will lose three and a half million dollars in funding grants a year if SkyCity gets more pokies. (2′45″)
    Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  23. Anonymous

    Yes, they found someone, somewhere in this country who actually appears to have some records for their spending. And, oh look, it’s a rugby club who has spent money on a little something other than rugby.

    Genuine news? Nope. A piece of crap bit of news advertising up there with British American Tobacco’s Agree Disagree campaign? Completely.

    “We agree pokies are harmful. We disagree with restricting access to pokies money because we are just too lazy to fundraise for ourselves and would rather bludge off addicts and councils.”

    • Elizabeth

      [glad you raised that advert, they’re spending a fortune on it – poisonous, (liver)cancerous, in a wine bottle for those amongst us who feel stylistically infringed]

  24. Martin Legge

    Labour MP David Cunliffe is right to be concerned about College Rifles and money generated from pokies in poor areas supporting wealthy and elite areas/clubs. This story has some parallels with ORFU and coincidentally, both appear in an email exchange carried out by TTCF GM Warwick Hodder. Coincidentally The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc aka The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF) are domiciled in Mr Cunliffe’s West Auckland electorate.

    TTCF, yes the ORFU funders, also gave College Rifles over $100k up to 2010 due to their close association with Warwick Hodder. Also note in this email exchange, Mr Hodder is again identified ensuring that the Centre of Excellence application is sanitised to remove association with ORFU. Perhaps Russell Garbutt should revisit his complaint with Maarten Quivooy of DIA.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Warwick Hodder []
    Sent: Friday, 23 July 2004 9:51 a.m.
    To: Modus-Group
    Subject: GRANTS
    Hi Liz

    Has the large grant gone through for the Otago Academy and did we get it re signed by non ORFU personnel?

    Also Derek Rope rang me re a grant application he made for some new 4 nations tournament up in Auckland (Rugby for non darkies apparently because all the games post competition seem to be for Maoris and Islanders). Apparently he obtained an application form via the internet and it was rejected. I suggested this time around he obtains a form from the Stars Bar.


    From: Modus-Group
    To: Warwick Hodder
    Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 3:41 PM
    Subject: RE: GRANTS


    The application form has been sent back to be recompleted without any ORFU personnel names as contact person or signatory.

    Who is Derek Rope – which club?

    From: Warwick Hodder []
    Sent: Friday, 23 July 2004 4:55 p.m.
    To: Modus-Group
    Subject: Re: GRANTS

    Ummmmmmm College Rifles I think but I do not have a clue as to who is actually applying re this Tournament. If he rings me back I will ask him. When is the big grant going to be paid do you reckon?

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    I though pokie funds came largely from poor areas. “Darkies” tend to be in low-income jobs and have the worst health and employment and education stats – whole lots of not-enough-opportunities cluster in poverty. But that’s no reason to give pokie funds to ~too many~ “Darkie” recipients, right? See this excerpt quoted in the previous post:
    “(Rugby for non darkies apparently because all the games post competition seem to be for Maoris and Islanders)”
    From: Warwick Hodder []
    Sent: Friday, 23 July 2004 9:51 a.m.
    To: Modus-Group

    Charming! Makes a person proud to be white, right? Yeah.

  26. Anonymous

    I cannot believe the content and tone of those emails and hope others will find it just as offensive. The author clearly values self-entitlement above any moral or commonsense. The examples of their disconnect with society and reality can still surprise after all the harm done to Dunedin in the name of their professional rugby.

  27. Hype O'Thermia
    We NEED to be on life-support, it’s not fair expecting us to take responsibility for our favourite activity. We have a traditional RIGHT to the money from poor communities.

  28. amanda

    Corporate Rugby is a rates and tax bludger. It makes sense that the NZRU would also want to milk funds from poorer sections of society. Business plan, what’s that ? Just like Crs Hudson, Acklin and Brown and the rest of the secret seven on council, they and corporate rugby have NO IDEA and expect the citizens to pay for their fiscal negligence.

  29. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the link Hype O’Thermia.
    “NZRU boss: Pokies vital for sport funding”…
    New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew has attacked proposed gambling reform, saying they would strip community sports of vital funding.

    The blasphemy continues.
    The next time Mr Tew orders a new suit to demonstrate his entitlement, may he spare a dime for a schoolchild’s lunch in South Auckland.

  30. amanda

    Wonder if our local Otago Rugby Times will feature much about this. lol.

  31. Russell Garbutt

    Of course Tew wants the gravy train to continue – all in one direction and that is straight to him and his pro crowd. Doesn’t matter that pokie funds aren’t supposed to go that way – just get a few friendly lawyers and accountants involved, set up a few front organisations that can channel the funds the way you want them to go, get a few compliant trustees, confuse the DIA, maybe get a pollie to get any inquiries stopped – and hey presto, the millions continue to head the way of pro rugby all paid for by the poor of South Auckland. Now if we can only channel some of the dough into some personal pockets as well……oh yes, that’s also on the cards.

  32. Rob Hamlin

    Not really on this thread, but interesting. As well as our not so derelict second rugby stadium, I have been keeping a keen eye on the large area of land behind the suspiciously super luxury and hardly-ever-open-except-when-the-rugger-pros- are-around ‘public’ changing rooms on Logan Park.

    This land belongs to the DCC, and it used to be a bowling green and a couple of other things, all of which were ‘bowled’ (pardon the pun) when the ‘plushrooms’ were created to make way for … what?

    I suspected a free private parking zone for the pro sports great and the good that now infest this area. What appeared to be a first attempt at this appeared on the avenue behind the cricket grandstand and next to the quarry in the form of a long row of on-street but ‘authorised parking only’ car parks, which quickly disappeared for reasons that I have not been able to determine but could have been as a result of awkward questions about public highways being used for private purposes – Who knows. Still, just where do you park your pokie-funded BMW seven series if not there?

    These car parks are still a dirt (hardcore if you’re polite) surfaced area. But now parking ticket machines have appeared, grandiose names have been allocated to the two areas and both now proudly carry the name ‘Secure P’ at the entrance.

    ‘Secure Parking’, to whom this title apparently refers, are a very large Australian car parking company who are expanding rapidly in this country starting with taking over parking at Auckland Airport. Given the scale on which they operate, one would have thought that a patch of dirt in a small town at the unfashionable end of the country wouldn’t really be their style – Unless the returns on their investment were really good.

    Which leads one to pose very intriguing questions as to why a City that is ineffective in so many ways, except parking charging and related scooter-borne parking enforcement activities in which it is undeniably and most venomously efficient, should allow Secure Parking to extract and export, eventually to Australia presumably, a handsome return from running a car parking business on a piece of land that is community owned (or was when I last checked), and that is in an area of known parking pressure.

    It would be very interesting to get the details of this sale/lease/management contract out of the DCC, but I have no doubt that commercial sensitivity will be drawn over the detail of these arrangements.

    However, I save the best bit until last. On a large notice at the entry of the car park there is an imposing list of contractual obligations that you assume if you leave your car in this car park. I was particularly delighted by Clause 14, which read as: “No warranty is implied by the use of the word ‘secure’ in the name of this carpark.”

    What this means is that if your car gets pillaged burnt or smashed to pieces in a ‘Secure P’ park that any of these events demonstrate to not be secure at all, then there is no comeback for you, even if you did pay your parking fee thinking that it was, and without carefully reading the small print down to Clause 14 at least while driving in or walking out of it.

    Doesn’t that statement just sum up the relationship between headline promise and actual delivery that has characterised every activity in this ‘Sportopolis’ area over the last five years?

    • Elizabeth

      Rob, fascinating. I hope ODT develops the audacity to put a question to DCC chief executive Paul Orders about this.

      [I’m nonplussed by the amount of pipework on top of the “plushrooms”, designed by Tim Heath’s Architectural Ecology. How not to sympathetically develop a utilitarian yet charming pavilion building. It’s a farce by design and by price.]

  33. Anonymous

    When you think about it, there’s really not much else left for this corrupt council and its Stadium Councillors to do but sell what is left of the city, hock off the assets and get the hell out. There will be plenty of agreements being made but none of them in the best interests of its constituents. That reset is getting closer by the million.

  34. Martin Legge

    Steve Tew’s submissions to the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill that “community rugby” will suffer if Flavell’s bill is passed is nonsense. The bill does not set out to exclude community or grass roots rugby from receiving pokie funds under a new model. What the bill does threaten is to eradicate pokie trusts and that is what Mr Tew and the global business of sponsored rugby fear the most.
    You see, rugby has grown accustomed to grabbing more than its fair share of the pokie funds pie and the new model may simply mean that rugby will be treated like any other worthy community group – fairly, transparently and without favour.
    For years rugby has exercised influence over pokie trusts through the “old boys network “ oiled with complimentary match tickets, corporate box entertainment – all in the knowledge of rugby’s “place of privilege” within NZ Society.
    To guarantee the biggest slice of the community pokie pie, some rugby clubs/unions have entered into ownership/financing arrangements with high turnover pokie bars just to ensure that pokie trusts continue to grant them a bigger slice. This of course is illegal and unfair to all other community and sporting groups but, as we know, DIA to date have done nothing to police this particular rort in relation to the Gambling Act.
    Replacing pokie trusts with a fair and transparent structure of specifically appointed community committees, that heaven forbid, may decide to distribute the funds fairly, obviously has Steve Tew and others worried.
    Otago, like many provinces will have many old rugby clubs that are struggling financially and then there’s schoolboy rugby and the countless volunteers who give up their time to rugby. Meanwhile the cost of the professional game, the All Blacks, Super 15 and ITM Cup and the entourage of management, masseuses and coaches continues to climb as players move to the highest bidder.
    Do any of these volunteers or struggling clubs in Otago ever wonder where the $6-7 million dollars portrayed as having gone to “amateur rugby” in Otago actually went? Or when reading ORFU grants explanations, ever wonder why ORFU needed so many salaries, travel costs, high tech equipment, office fitouts and gym equipment for the amateur game? Steve Tew obviously also wants you to believe it was all spent in the name of community and grassroots rugby.

    • Elizabeth

      Martin says: “To guarantee the biggest slice of the community pokie pie, some rugby clubs/unions have entered into ownership/financing arrangements with high turnover pokie bars just to ensure that pokie trusts continue to grant them a bigger slice. This of course is illegal and unfair to all other community and sporting groups…”

      These ‘arrangements’ include entities set up for money laundering, established or advised by the “friendly lawyers and accountants involved” that Russell mentions above.

      The mapping of the people and the entities – the money trail for professional rugby – is terribly pretty.

      DIA has made sure, at the behest of politicians, to turn blind eyes (plural) to most of these activities historically. To take the media and public off the scent – it thinks – DIA has published stats for prosecutions and censures, papering over the startling number of investigations it hasn’t commissioned for completion. Lest the rugby old boys and the trustees of pokie trusts get exposed for outstanding white collar crime, worth millions and millions of dollars. The embarrassment.

      Dunne nothing.

  35. amanda

    Seems to me that a smart, sharp and able journalist (obviously not working for any of our local media) could do an exciting article about all of this corruption, or that some politicians opposing National might be able to get some political mileage out of this clear profit from corruption for a few at the top ensconced happily in Corporate rugby gravyland while people at the bottom pay for their comfortable lifestyles.

  36. amanda

    Meanwhile old National are going after beneficiaries while they turn a blind eye to white collar criminality? Scamming the systems for millions upon millions? Now ain’t that interesting? Well I guess in the neoliberal brain that makes sense; the Great are Good and can take anything they want, and the ‘not great’ are supposed to be happy to just be alive.

  37. amanda

    The bullies of corporate Rugby living off poor children of South Auckland. Pathetic. You would think they would be ashamed.

  38. Russell Garbutt

    Ashamed? No room for such feelings when you are creaming it.

  39. amanda

    The Rubgy Great and Good might have to learn how to create a proper real life business plan that does not depend on taking funds out of poor areas or milking local rates out of gormless politicians (Crs Brown and Bezett? I’m looking at you). Not a Darren Burden or Farry sort of business plan, no, a real world one.

  40. Peter

    The shame would be more that they are not doing enough to siphon off money, from poor communities, for the interests of their pond scum mates. All ‘ends justify means’ stuff at work here.

  41. Elizabeth

    ### Friday 28 September 2012
    Afternoons with Jim Mora

    16:07 The Panel with Jane Clifton and Matt Lawry (Part 1)
    The Ministry of Education has published the national standards results of nearly 2000 schools. The head of the New Zealand Rugby Union says proposed gambling reforms will strip community sports of vital funding. (22′25″)
    Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  42. Elizabeth

    DCC submission – information received via LGOIMA

    Submission on Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill LGOIMA – 02 July 2012 (PDF, 119.5 KB)
    Multiple requests were received for the submission from the Planning and Environment Committee 21 June 2012 on the Gambling (Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill – proposed legislative changes.

    • Elizabeth

      [Infinity Foundation general manager] Gillian Wells told Hawke’s Bay Today in a statement that the foundation had worked “constructively and proactively” with the Department of Internal Affairs since the audit was completed in 2010.

      ### Saturday, October 27, 2012 14:00
      Charity’s breaches revealed
      By Lawrence Gullery – Hawke’s Bay Today
      An investigation has found a well-known Hawke’s Bay charity breached the Gambling Act several times by distributing $320,357 worth of grants to organisations which should not have received the money. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) audit into the Infinity Foundation also concluded it was likely a group of people had “instances of inappropriate influence” over the foundation and its grant funding process. The DIA audit report was released this week but its investigation began in 2008, looking into the foundation’s compliance with the Gambling Act from August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008.

      The foundation’s former chairman, Peter Dennehy, retired at its most recent annual meeting after six years’ service. The current chairman Blair Furlong is also the president of the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union.

      The foundation operated gambling machines in 26 venues in the North Island including 11 venues in Hawke’s Bay. For the 12 months ending July 31, 2008, the foundation generated a gaming machine profit of $17.7 million and during that period $7.3 million was distributed to the community via grants.
      Read more

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    Irrelevant to local issues: “instances of inappropriate influence” don’t apply when it’s rugby. Freedom of religion and all that, don’t y’ know.

  44. Rob Hamlin

    It has often been said that this country does not have corruption. It would be more accurate to say that it simply does not appear to have any immune response to it. Pimples are an immune reponse. They are painful, and unsightly. They can can also cause embarrassment when they can be seen. However, they keep the problem localised and eventually the pustulent badness can be fully squeezed out of them and hygenically disposed of. They are a good deal than a generalised infection which can present less obvious initial symptoms but which can eventually be highly debilitating and/or lethal to the host.

    Enron was a pimple of curruption on the face of the US. Embarrassing, but still more benign than the systemic infection of curruption coursing freely through the bloodstream of the body civic that we seem to tbe dealing with here.

  45. ormk

    For next annual plan I intend to make a submission that the DCC and associated organisations should be reviewed for evidence of corruption. It’d be interesting to see how many submissions along these lines they will ignore.

  46. Martin Legge

    Another scandal of inactivity, tardiness and appalling result from DIA is contained in the recently released Infinity Foundation Audit & Investigation Report. Like TTCF and Grassroots Trust (Waikato) Audit reports, this makes a mockery of the Gambling Act and DIA’s regulatory role. Infinity Foundation is domiciled in the DIA Minister, Chris Tremain’s own electorate.

    Note this media article from last year regarding Infinity Foundation activities.

    That activity was from an audit for the year 2008/2009 and here we are at the end of 2012 and DIA have just got around to issuing a 3 day suspension.
    That’s because it’s taken a year to sanatise and negotiate the final audit report ready for public and media scrutiny. That’s what happened when it was deemed that DIA audits would become treated as publicly discoverable, a couple of years ago. Naturally, DIA are keen to sanitise these reports because it makes them look incompetant at the time of offending and then more incompetant as to how long it takes to get out.

    So we have no repayment of money, no charges, no persons held accountable and best of all the community picks up all their huge legal bills which would have been substantial given the time elapsed and the 3 day suspension acts only to punish the community while everyone else involved at the trust and pub end, continues to be fully paid! How is this a penalty!!

    And what does it tell us when the perpetrators of this expenditure, have the confidence to issues public statements that “we are working constructively and proactively with the Department”.

    • Elizabeth

      Martin, yours and similar opinions by others do need to be sent (by the authors and or by empowered others – on legal letterhead would help!) to the editors of major newspapers, to Radio NZ News,TVNZ and TV3 news, and to Cabinet Ministers and select MPs, with some serious ‘Cc-ing’ to the head of DIA – and the head of SFO.

      And send to Auditor General (see old press release: 28 Feb 07 Auditor-General slams Internal Affairs over gaming says National Party MP ).

  47. Calvin Oaten

    It all begs the question; where, and how high up the political chain is the choke hold on all and any investigations? Is it simply that the racing and rugby organisations are above the law and deemed untouchable, or is it a matter of ‘greasing of palms?” Either way, it is corrupt, and in our local case it contaminates and compromises our City Council. Serious stuff.

  48. Elizabeth

    Steve Kilgallon at SST has two new stories today.

    Pokies keep a weather eye on problem gamblers (page A2)

    The second, more revelatory and significant story features on page A6 (link not found):

    Pokie man stopped from rort inquiries (page A6)
    “A senior Internal Affairs investigator says he was prevented from probing pokie rorts by his own department because it did not have the confidence to prosecute major crime. Dave Bermingham, an investigator and analyst who left the department in August, said Internal Affairs was incompetent and should be stripped of its role investigating gaming machine fraud.” {continues}

    In the absence of a link the story has been scanned by What if? Dunedin – on grounds of public interest.

    @@@@ SST 11-11-12 Kilgallon pA6 (PDF, 616 KB)

  49. Hype O'Thermia

    “Dave Bermingham ….. said Internal Affairs was incompetent and should be stripped of its role investigating gaming machine fraud.” He observed from the inside, people here have observed from outside, and it looks exactly the same from both sides. You don’t often get that.

  50. Russell Garbutt

    There is a systemic problem here of enormous proportions. The regulatory body for pokies is in the same state of affairs as the regulatory body for mining. Ineffectual, hands off, and idiotic. Until there is a systemic change then nothing will happen as those that can change it are heavily involved.

    The foxes are in charge of the henhouses.

  51. Hype O'Thermia

    How could anyone think this Claytons model of regulation would be a go-er? Same with building regulations, councils take the permit money but god forbid “the buck stops” with them, with their inspectors who signed off the work. No, more stringent regulations will make sure tradesmen don’t do shoddy work. Ha-bloody-ha.
    Any form of regulation that takes courses passed and forms filled in as evidence that work has been done to the right standard is nutty.
    Look at the evidence, politicians!
    Do people with high grade qualifications in accountancy and business never manage to make off with $$$$$$ over years while all the forms are exquisitely filled in?

    Teaching suffers the same tick-box “quality control” which wastes time without adding to students’ value received for teachers’ time eaten up with compliance.
    Did builders of leaky and other failed buildings not know how to do it right, were they in need of more trade training, or were they cutting corners? Would a better result come from NOT obliging them to go to little courses that waste a day or 2 periodically, but instead having inspectors sourced from the relevant trades – perhaps tradies whose fitness isn’t up to the hard physical work any more but they know the ins and outs thoroughly – and have more steps of the building inspected promptly, so as not to waste time=money and frequently, including unscheduled visits to the site?

    It is time for a thorough re-think of the cluster-fail and why it’s not a matter of hands on or off, it’s a matter of whose hands and enduring responsibility, which is why inspections should be thorough and enduring entities must stand behind the ticks given by their inspectors.
    Companies can and do avoid consequences by bankruptcy, by going out of business. Individuals disappear overseas, and we’ve seen how easy it is for people to change their names.

    We’ve got OSH safety in uber-nanny proportions, restricting freedom to get on with work (though not play, oddly enough) on the micro scale while on a larger scale regulation and enforcement are spavined camels designed by committees floating approx 3.2 metres above the Realism Layer.

  52. Hype O'Thermia

    If people didn’t spend money at the pokies, most of which goes out of their community never to be seen again, they would have that money to support community groups themselves – to give donations, pay annual membership and buy the raffle tickets, sizzled sausages, firewood and compost from the groups’ fundraising efforts. That way the community groups would get 100% of $$$ the individuals handed over.

  53. Phil

    Since when does an unqualified ex-cop qualify as a DCC staff expert to give expert advice on problem gambling ? Or did the expert advice come from the other member of his 2 man “department”, a polytech graduate Health Inspector ?

  54. ### April 17, 2013 – 7:03pm
    Dunedin City Council calling for submissions on gambling policy
    The Dunedin City Council is calling for submissions on its gambling policy review. The proposal will see a cap on the number of venues and machines around the city. But those who work at the coal face of gambling addiction say looking at the numbers won’t address the problem fully.

  55. ### Last updated 05:00 22/12/2013
    Holy pokies dispute
    By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star-Times
    Churches are divided over the sinfulness of pokie machines, with some dioceses applying for grants from pokie trusts while others denounce them as evil.
    A schism was revealed in the Anglican Church recently when a pokie trust escaped censure for refusing to give $500,000 in grants to the Christchurch Cathedral rebuild. The trust turned down the application partly because some Anglicans had spoken out about the “corrosive” nature of pokies.
    The Catholic Church also has a range of views – spokesman Simone Olsen said it had no national policy on applying for pokie money, allowing dioceses to make their own decisions. The Salvation Army decided in 2008 it would not ask for pokie grants.
    Internal Affairs last week ruled Pub Charity had no case to answer over the Cathedral after a complaint by the Green Party MP Denise Roche. Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain had also asked the department for an explanation. Documents attached to the Internal Affairs’ report reveal a deep divide in the church over poker machines, with Auckland Archbishop Ross Bay refusing to resile from a strident anti-pokie stance, while Christchurch Archbishop Victoria Matthews wrote letters of support to chase funding for the new cathedral.
    After the Christchurch diocese applied for $250,000 towards the “cardboard cathedral”, Pub Charity boss Martin Cheer was quoted saying: “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t actively campaign to get rid of something then apply for money from it.”
    Read more

    {Link added to Denise Roche’s parliamentary speech. -Eds}

    █ NZH 26.6.13 Pokie charity snubs Anglican groups after anti-gaming submission


    DIA 10.12.13 [media release] Licence suspensions reinstated for pokie breaches – court decision
    The Department of Internal Affairs says it is very pleased that the Court of Appeal has clarified the Gambling Act and decided that the suspension or cancellation of licences for past one-off breaches can be imposed. The judgement calls suspension “an important statutory remedy.” […] The decision by the Appeal Court concerns the gaming machine society Pub Charity which in 2009 breached the regulated limit on reimbursing venue operating costs by $286,275. This funding should have been returned to the community in the form of grants. Read full release.

    DIA 5.12.13 [media release] Key individuals interviewed in pokie grants investigation
    The Department of Internal Affairs confirmed today that key individuals in Operation Chestnut have been interviewed as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Department of Internal Affairs and the Organised Financial Crime Agency of NZ (OFCANZ). The Department’s Director of Gambling Compliance, Debbie Despard says this continues to be a significant and complex matter with a range of serious concerns. “It is the largest investigation in the history of the gambling sector. More than 100,000 documents are being examined and material is still being collated. The investigation will conclude in the first half of next year and the full range of prosecution and licensing sanctions will be utilised in respect to those involved.” Read full release.

    OFCANZ was established on 1 July 2008, and is a hosted agency within New Zealand Police. It’s key functions are:
    ● Leading, and enhancing co-operation between, law enforcement and other agencies in the planning and conducting of operations against organised crime;
    ● Using a variety of methods to combat organised crime, including investigating and prosecuting, disrupting activities and linkages, and confronting serious and organised crime;
    ● Interrupting organised criminal activity through following the money trail, and through operations to restrain and forfeit the proceeds of crime;
    ● Driving the intelligence process on organised crime to gather information, and to ensure information is shared between law enforcement and other agencies;
    ● Improving understanding of the activities and harm of organised crime networks; and identifying opportunities for organised crime policy or legislative changes;
    ● Preventing risks arising from serious and organised crime; and
    ● Minimising the risk/harm to the NZ public from organised criminal action


    Stuff 6.10.13 Study examines addiction to pokies
    Near wins and free spins don’t boost your winning chances – so why do problem gamblers keep betting when the odds are stacked against them? Victoria University’s psychology department aims to answer that and uncover the mental processes that can turn a recreational pokie player into an addict.

  56. What’s this, inklings that the pokies aren’t a harmless way of raising funds for the communities around them? Perhaps slowly dawning perception that those least likely to benefit in terms of much-needed local resources, are those from which the most money has been “earned” (!) by pokies in their local watering-holes?

  57. ### ODT Online Fri, 23 May 2014
    Provincial pub pokies face threat
    By Hamish McNeilly
    The viability of provincial pubs with poker machines and resulting grants for their communities is under threat as the Government considers reforming the sector, industry representatives say. This week, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said changes would include more money being returned to the community, more enforcement on dishonest activity, and a reduction in red tape. Under the changes, non-club gaming machine trusts – which operate poker machines in pubs and bars – would be required to distribute more gambling proceeds back to the community.
    Read more

  58. Elizabeth

    Sunday Star-Times 15.3.15 (page A4)

    SST 15.3.15 Air rescue trust reels (page A4) 1

  59. Calvin Oaten

    It says something about the ethics of our society when we have services like ambulances, relying on the proceeds of gambling. That these activities have the oversight of our government, yes, the same government which comfortably will spend $27 million on investigating changing our national flag, consider spending upwards of $15 million on a millionaire’s yacht race, donate $15 million to a bankrupt city council towards building a $250 million rugby stadium. And we all preen ourselves on the fact that we live in such a wonderful country. Country, yes, governance, rotten and corrupt.

  60. Calvin Oaten
    March 16, 2015 at 9:18 am
    It says something about the ethics of our society.

    This whole shemozzle was a creation of the Government in the first place. The money from Lotto and other forms of gambling was allocated thus for sport and recreation and other such ‘public good’ purposes. It was easy pickings for the government to support these activities via the gambling ‘vice’ of the community – no pain.

    But just as the anti smoking and anti boozing lobbies got rid of the sources of funding for these recreational activities from the tobacco and alcohol industries the anti gambling lobby is now working its magic.

    And clever John Key has added his little bit by flicking more pokie machine operations to the Casino in Aucks at the ultimate expense of community groups via these trusts.
    Again who can argue. The ‘holier than thou’ groups are ALWAYS right. Smoking – boozing – gambling.
    God this nanny state has taken all the fun out of life. But reading the plight of the rescue helicopter service – one is forced to consider the law of unintended consequences.
    Sometimes I think it might be better to migrate to Mexico and take my chances at dodging the drug barons – at least life would be exciting.

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