Auckland Council report on pokie grant distribution

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### NZ Herald Online 5:51 PM Monday Aug 11, 2014
Poor losing out on pokie cash
By David Fisher
Money tipped into pokie machines in the poorest parts of Auckland doesn’t come back to those communities in gaming grants, new data shows. In contrast, the wealthiest areas gamble far less but take a disproportionate amount of money out of other areas. This has been greeted as proof of a long-stated but never-proven claim about pokies – that the poor get poorer but the rich get richer. The Auckland Council research is behind a challenge to government plans to ringfence 80 per cent of pokie grant distribution inside large regional areas. Instead, it wants a special system for distributing pokie grants inside Auckland which will allow the poorest areas to benefit from money gambled locally. […] Overall, the study found all of Auckland missed out to the benefit of the rest of New Zealand. The $214.6 million put into pokie machines would have made $61.6 million available for grants, on industry averages after expenses were taken out. Auckland got $35.2 million.
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● David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland Council Regional Strategy and Policy Committee
07 August 2014

Gambling Working Party – new regulations for the distribution of class 4 (pokie) gambling grants to communities

File No.: CP2014/14759

Purpose
1. To report back on a gambling working party’s deliberations regarding new government regulations to control the distribution of grants from class 4 (commonly known as “pokie”) gambling, and present recommendations based on feedback from the working party.

Executive summary
2. The Minister of Internal Affairs has recently acquired the power to make new regulations specifying the amount of class 4 grants money that must be returned to the area from which it came, and to set out how areas will be identified and defined for that purpose
3. The Minister recently announced that regional council areas will be used as the areas into which grants must be distributed, and the rate of return to those areas will be 80%. New regulations implementing that decision are expected to be issued later this year.
4. A gambling working party, established by minute REG/2013/10, has reviewed information regarding class 4 gaming machine proceeds in Auckland, and the current rate of return of class 4 grant money by local board area.
5. The new regulations could increase the amount of grant money flowing to community and sport groups in Auckland as a whole, but there are significant inequities in the distribution of class 4 grants within the region that the Minister’s proposal would not overcome.
6. The working party has developed a proposal which would address those inequities by defining areas, within Auckland, for the return of class 4 gambling grants.

Recommendation/s
That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:
a) endorse the working party’s proposal to define areas within Auckland, as presented in the appended map, whereby a proportion of grants derived from the proceeds of class 4 gambling in those areas would be returned to them
b) endorse the option of advocating for a 90 percent return of grant money to the defined areas, instead of the 80 percent currently proposed by the Minister of Internal Affairs
c) endorse the option of advocating for a different rate of return to the area identified as CGI on the map (comprising the City Centre and Gulf Islands), of either 40 percent or 45 percent
d) delegate to the chair of the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee to write to the Minister of Internal Affairs advocating that the proposed regulations be amended in accordance with the committee’s response to recommendations (a) to (c) above
e) note that the grants data for Auckland will be published on a web portal
f) note that the findings of the working party will be reported to local boards.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

10 responses to “Auckland Council report on pokie grant distribution

  1. Elizabeth

    What Auckland Council has found is?
    All the money laundering – amongst it is the history of Otago Rugby Football Union and its purchase of Jokers Bars at Auckland, and all the bent pokie trusts and private trusts across New Zealand that consist of bent trustees and directors, and their pyramid pals. There is evidence aplenty that DIA has deliberately tried to bury and discount to suit the agendas of its own bureaucrats and a hoard of National and Labour Ministers – how the criminally privileged guard their stash and all the costly entitlements. Individuals who are much more effective at avoiding prosecution than any stereotypical small time New Zealand bikie gang.

  2. I have no empirical knowledge of these entertainments. I take it pokie bars are not casinos, and (quelle horreur), casinos are not actually sophisticated places with Orson Welles lookalikes playing baccarat?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Sad, isn’t it! So not James Bond. Pokies are sad, casinos are naff, with pricier decor. Alanbec, where can we go in our tuxes and long satin gowns?
      Etiquette help needed: is a satin gown over the tailored trousering still fashionable, if so should jacket be removed before or after dining?

  3. Martin Legge

    Read the explanations provided to the ODT (Sept 2010) by ORFU’s Neville Frost, as to why the ORFU got millions in grants from 3 South Auckland bars.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/128955/pokie-millions-go-orfu

    Frost’s explanations are pure spin, an attempt to divert attention away from the truth. The only reason TTCF approved millions of dollars in grants to ORFU was so as to retain ORFU’s lucrative pokie business interests in those bars.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    The ORFU and their “friends” were involved in a whole elaborate and lucrative rort which involved alteration of applications to a pokie fund – all designed to conceal what they were up to. The whole thing was designed to divert pokie proceeds into unlawful ends. Despite whistleblowers having all relevant evidence and complaints to the “proper” authorities by a number of people, not one charge has been laid.

    It is more than obvious that these people are being protected, and if anyone believes for a split second that there is no serious corruption in NZ then they need to think again. The corruption is endemic and is designed to protect the “GOB’s” and their well-heeled mates and their political friends.

    This crowd looks after itself well, but they will not stay out of the limelight for ever.

  5. Elizabeth

    Very recently, our man Terry Davies ‘let go’ Neville Frost, the financial manager at Dunedin Venues Management Ltd. Prior to Frost’s position there he was employed by ORFU.

    The public has not been told why Frost was deposed, as a silken cover was laid over the matter that those in power (at DVML and DCC) conveniently call ‘restructuring’.

    Although the cloak of silence may have saved ratepayers the cost of a legal bunfight, how much was Frost paid to leave?

    It is that sort of public accountability and transparency which DCC and DVML fail to deliver in the paternalistic environment that operates. Such that Frost is a free man to roam to other places for safe employ.

  6. Martin Legge

    Most fair minded kiwi’s would expect that the Trustees of pokie trusts, as part of their fiduciary duty, would ensure money raised in one area would be distributed back to that area.

    Once again the NZ Herald delves into the detail and finds this is not happening in spite of all the soothing words from the industry and politicians.

    As far back as 2011, Francis Wevers, then head of the Community Gaming Association, set up to lobby and protect the very interests of pokie trusts, went against his own and reported to Govt the widespread corrupt practices occurring within Pokie Trusts.

    Clearly nothing has changed and so where is the latest outrage from the political parties that were once so concerned and vocal about the poorest communities?

    • Anon-o -mouse

      Agree. Those political parties no longer speak out about the unfairness to the poor. They are more interested in securing their own funding from the pokies. Auckland Pokies are returning more money to charities, but the charities being semi-bogus organisations, setup by the trustees themselves , so they can hand the money back to their political support crew. . They trustees of the pokies are also the trustees of the charities. This provides a steady income stream for the politicians political support teams wages and also gives them funding to educate the public on important charitable issues (which just happen to tie in to their political platforms). Sigh.

  7. Martin?!! You are talking about politicians here. A special breed of opportunist which has vast stocks of blind eyes for the turning of.

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