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New Zealand Gambling Policy Applauded

2 September 2005

NEW ZEALAND – (PRESS RELEASE) -- "The Green Party is to be congratulated on its progressive gambling policy," says John Stansfield, CEO for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

"This sets a good standard for other parties to match. It is a well researched and well informed policy that would certainly help to eliminate gambling harm," says Mr Stansfield.

"I am pleased to see that the Green's have identified pokies as the cause of so much gambling harm. It is perfect timing to coincide with Gamble Free Day," says Stansfield.

The Green Party released their gambling policy to coincide with Gamble Free Day, and have dedicated themselves to reducing the harm being done to communities by pokie machines.

PGF support the Green Party's gambling policy, with three points deserving special attention.

"Of particular mention is their policy to conduct a full and social economic and environmental impact study of the impact of gambling on New Zealand society.

"The public has a right to know the real impacts of gambling on New Zealand society. Anywhere where the public has been given the full information they have adopted safer environments," he says.

The second point PGF refers to is the requirement of the potential impact of all substantially new forms of gambling or changes to current gambling to be researched and legislated before being introduced to the public.

"This point is very important as it future-proofs New Zealander's against further innovations and technological advancements in gambling. It is integral to the Gambling Act's purpose and works to eliminate gambling harm."

The third point by the Green's gives more authority back to local councils and their community, relating to gambling in their council areas.

"This is something that is allowing local authorities should stand up and take notice of. It puts local councils in control of gambling in their region, and local communities have a greater say about gambling in their community."

"We would be very interested to see what other parties have to offer in their gambling policy, and dare them to equal or better that of the Green Party, and encourage the Government to introduce such a progressive policy."

Free and confidential help is available nationwide from the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand by phoning 0800 664 262.

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