3 News 20 June 2013
The Salvation Army has taken aim at the Government’s attempt to minimise gambling harm, saying its watered-down version of a Maori Party bill might actually make things worse.
The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill originally had pokie profits going back to the community, tracking devices attached to machines and councils given the power to shut down venues.
But yesterday Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain presented a watered-down version, which saw many of its harm reduction clauses removed or significantly weakened.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira called it a “dead rat”, and this morning on Firstline Salvation Army social policy spokesperson Campbell Roberts called it a “tragedy”.
“I think there’s been immense pressure on the Government from the industry, and I think the tragedy is their voices become stronger than that of the community, which sees some of the damage that’s being caused,” he says.
“I think it’s a lack really of creative and courageous leadership amongst our politicians that’s allowing this to happen.”