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Crown owned entities such as Sport New Zealand should not be involved in lobbying on behalf of pokie trusts, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.
A confidential paper was sent by Sport New Zealand (formerly SPARC) to national sports organisations over the weekend. The paper urges sports groups to oppose Te Ururoa Flavell's Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill.
"It is completely unacceptable that a crown entity such as Sport New Zealand is apparently lining up with pokie trusts and the gambling industry," said Ms Roche.
"Sport New Zealand's role is to promote sport at all levels throughout New Zealand rather than acting as a defacto PR organisation for the gaming industry," said Ms Roche.
"Sport New Zealand's chief executive Peter Miskimmin needs to state whether or not he approved the widespread distribution of a paper that actively opposes a Bill aimed at reducing the harm from gambling."
Ms Roche was also concerned that this is the second incident in recent weeks of opposition to the Bill being launched from within a Government organisation. Earlier this month a staff member at the Charities Commission distributed an email trying to drum up opposition to Mr Flavell's Bill.