Green Party no longer supports Flavell Gambling Bill

Press Release – Green Party

The Green Party will not be supporting Te Ururoa Flavells Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill.

17 June 2013

Green Party no longer supports Flavell Gambling Bill

The Green Party will not be supporting Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill.

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill was today reported back from the Commerce Select Committee. The Green Party submitted a minority report outlining concerns over changes to the original bill that had been made during the select committee process.

“The changes made during the select committee stage of this bill mean the Green Party cannot support this legislation anymore,” Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

“The aims of the original bill to give councils and communities the power to cut the number of pokie machines in their area, or eliminate them altogether, have been watered down entirely.

“The new legislation will actually restrict councils wanting to reduce the number of pokies in their area.

“It is also disappointing that provisions to prevent gambling funds being utilised by the racing industry – especially as stake money – are now gone from this legislation.

“Even the recommendation that funds be re-allocated to areas where the gambling took place has been watered down,” Ms Roche said.

“The recommendation that this provision be contained in new regulations in the Act leaves this decision up to the gambling sector itself.

“A large number of community and sports groups submitting against this bill did so after attending workshops run by pokie trusts and were given alarmist and misleading information regarding Te Ururoa’s bill.”

“It is sad that originally positive legislation has been hamstrung due to the work of vested interests such as the pokie trusts,” Ms Roche said.

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