Harawira would ban pokies in poor areas

The MP of Te Tai Tokerau has spoken of a radical plan to reduce gambling problems in New Zealand’s poorer communities… He believes that banning pokies altogether would be a simple way to eradicate the problem. Mr Hone Harawira thinks that the NZ$3.7m lost by gamblers in the Whangarei area, from April to June alone could have been kept in the poorer elements of the community and helped feed school children who are going hungry.

However, this was not a problem restricted to the Whangarei area, figures from the department of Internal Affairs show that in the three months from April to June lost nearly NZ$90k a day on pokies in the Northern region of the country.

The figures also show that gambling problems are becoming a big issue for women – nearly 50% of those seeking help for gambling issues are now female. One of the problems that Mr Harawira has with pokies in the region is that the money is often taken by the government and spent elsewhere in big cities like Auckland.

The full story can be found in the Northern Advocate.

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