Call for review after pokie funds go to Auckland

By Kate Shuttleworth of APNZ

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A pokies trust which gets nearly half its proceeds from Waikato and Bay of Plenty gamblers gives $2.8 million worth of grants to Auckland groups and only $40,000 to those in Waikato.

Information obtained by the Green Party shows Nautilus Foundation - a trust owning 154 pokie machines throughout Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland - gives 98 per cent of grant funds to Auckland groups.

The Waikato and Bay of Plenty have 44 per cent of the trust's 154 pokie machines, but receive only 1.4 per cent of the grants - Waikato groups get $40,000, while no Bay of Plenty groups received funds.

Of the 229 grants made by Nautilus, only eight Waikato groups received funding.

The rest went to Auckland.

Green Party gambling spokeswoman Denise Roche said the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill put forward by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell would deliver a fairer distribution system.

"It would ensure at least 80 per cent of the grant funding available from pokie profits is returned to the area they are collected from," she said.

"The Nautilus case demonstrates exactly why that kind of guarantee is necessary.

"This shows the urgent need for a different system of distributing pokie funds which ensures that the harm caused to communities by gambling is at least partly rectified by ensuring funding is returned to the same community."

The Bill passed its first reading in May and has gone for consideration by a parliamentary select committee.

NAUTILUS FUNDING



  • Pokie machine income $7.2 million


  • Eight grants to Waikato groups


  • No grants to Bay of Plenty groups


  • 221 grants made to Auckland groups


  • Total grants to Auckland groups $2.8m


  • Total grants to Waikato groups $40,000


  • Total grants to other non-Auckland groups $10,000


- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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