June 18, 2013
Flavell salvages gambling bill
Māori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he has cut a deal with National to make the best out of a bad situation after a select committee savaged his Gambling Harm Reduction Bill.
The Greens say they can no longer back the bill because of changes made by the committee, including restricting the ability of councils to reduce the number of pokies in their area, and continuing to let the racing industry use gambling funds for stake money.
Mr Flavell says he has negotiated a compromise with Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain, which will be announced tomorrow.
"You know we’ve put the whole notion of minimisation of harm from pokie machines on the agenda. While the minister didn't go with ensuring by legislation that there are ways to try to minimise the harm, we have got provisions in there that allow us to move in that direction with technology, so I am comfortable with that," he says.
Mr Flavell says the number of pokies is coming down, despite the deal allowing Sky City more machines in exchange for building conference facilities.
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