NZ Herald 4 March 2013
Nine out of every 10 people in Auckland want cuts to the number of poker machines in the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the city. A Curia poll found support from 87 per cent of respondents as lawmakers prepare to set new rules governing the availability of poker machines. The “No More Pokies” coalition of 20 community organisations delivered 9061 submissions to Auckland Council on the final day last week of public consultation over the first city-wide gambling policy. It aims to set policies for non-casino pokie venues, with 4069 gambling machines in pubs and clubs across the city. Local governments are obliged by law to set policies and the new policy was the first chance to have a unified approach across Auckland.
…. Problem Gambling Foundation national health manager Tony Milne said a sinking-lid policy would stop licences to run pokies being transferred from bars and clubs which closed. “The most powerful submissions come from people who have experienced the harm from pokie machines with accounts of lives … torn apart by pokie machines.” Family First director Bob McCoskrie released a poll last week showing huge support for cuts to pokies in the city’s poorest areas. Those polled reflected voting percentages in the 2011 election but showed a broad support for cuts to pokies in the city’s poorest areas.