New Zealand’s Harm Reduction Bill has gained quite a lot of support thus far – but there were always going to be some concerns. Many of these issues were expressed at a recent hearing for the bill, as organizations stepped forward to voice their concerns.
The Harm Reduction Bill provides local city councils across New Zealand with the ability to limit the number of poker machines that exist in a particular jurisdiction. The bill also aims to increase the amount of money that each poker machine donates to charity, which has been a significant source of the bill’s support thus far.
At the hearing, however, many organizations expressed some concerns about the potential funding scheme. While they support the fact that local councils can limit the number of poker machines, they are wary of the same councils allocating funds. Some organizations are worried that their funding will be significantly cut should this become a provision of the Harm Reduction Bill in New Zealand.
So, it seems as though it is back to the drawing board for the commission. Another hearing will be held later in the year to determine the effectiveness of the amendments.