Minto leading fight against pokie ‘cancer’

NZ Herald May 14, 2010

Long-time political activist John Minto’s name is linked with recruiting 200 people to an anti-gambling-machine campaign called “Hammer the Pokies”. The Aucklander has been leaked a document outlining a plan to gather concerned citizens to “drive pokie machines out of our neighbourhood communities”. “Pokies are a cancer on society and are destroying low-income families. We ask people to get themselves a hammer and register it for a civil disobedience activity,” says the pamphlet.

The objectives of the groups are to sharpen public debate about the destructive effects of pokies, reduce the number of machines, embarrass local authorities and the Government into action to close down pokies and bring a shift of democratic power back to local communities. The latest push comes as Auckland City Council reverses its sinking-lid policy to reduce the number of venues to allowing new venues to replace existing ones. Also this month, the Trust Charitable Foundation was ordered to shut down 74 venues for six days for unjustified expenses involving a member of the Racing Board.