Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell says that the fact that Rotorua is amongst the top ten gambling cities in Aotearoa is devastating and something that the Rotorua District Council should be looking at very closely.
"The fact that there are 416 machines in Rotorua, which equates to approx 1 machine for every 90 adults, is simply not acceptable" says Flavell.
"The Council missed their opportunity to rectify this when they were lobbied to adopt a sinking lid policy, but decided against it. Now we are faced with the reality that over $60 thousand a day is going down the drain in our city, and, it is reported that we have children who are going hungry as a direct result ".
Flavell points to a Whanau Ora approach to assist in prevention and treatment.. "Whānau can be alert for signs and intervene when they suspect someone they know is gambling excessively. We need to watch out for each other - put whanau in touch with the organisations who are there to help - and in particular we must make sure that we don't leave our children vulnerable".
"To allow this kind of poverty to continue is something that we should all be embarrassed about, and take responsibility for. And that starts with the Rotorua District Council. I will also be talking with my colleague Todd McClay about this matter, and will ask him and his party to take my Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill on as a Government Bill" ends Flavell.