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Auditor General asked to investigate Tokoroa’s pokie den

Press Release – Feed Families Not Pokies

The Feed Families Not Pokies (FFNP) Incorporated Society has written to the Office of the Auditor General over its concerns about the process and decision-making of the South Waikato District Council in relation to a new 30 pokie machine venue opening …Feed Families Not Pokies Media Release: 15/08/2018.

Office of Auditor General asked to investigate Tokoroa’s pokie den

The Feed Families Not Pokies (FFNP) Incorporated Society has written to the Office of the Auditor General over its concerns about the process and decision-making of the South Waikato District Council in relation to a new 30 pokie machine venue opening in Tokoroa.

Colin Bridle, spokesperson for FFNP, says their concerns are based on evidence acquired through the Official Information Act and their observations and experiences in dealing with the South Waikato District Council.

“The Council have made decisions contrary to its own sinking lid gambling policy which clearly states that the Council will not grant consent for the establishment of any new Class 4 venues, Board venues, or gaming machines at the adoption of this policy,” he says.

“The new venue also needs to have a valid consent from the Council for a gambling licence to be issued, but the consent is not valid; it expired six months after it was granted.”

FFNP, after seeking legal advice, have decided to take the matter to the proper authorities.

Colin Bridle says they decided to take action because they care about the social and economic harm being done to their community.

“It is now up to those authorities to assess whether the concerns we have raised are valid, and what further actions might be taken,” he says.

“Our main focus at present is engaging with the Department of Internal Affairs, which has not issued gambling licences for the new venue yet.”

Donations to the Feed Families Not Pokies cause can be made on the Givealittle page https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/feed-families-not-pokies-stop-the-mini-casino

For anyone wanting free counselling support for their own or someone else’s gambling, contact the Problem Gambling Foundation 0800 664 262 or the Gambling Helpline 0800 654 655 or Text 8006.

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Attached: Copy of the letter to the Office of the Auditor General
2018.08.13_Tokoroa_Club_Merger__OAG__SWDC_sent_public.pdf

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