Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Gambling survey approved by council

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A study into the social impact of gambling in Rotorua has been approved by the Rotorua Lakes Council.
A study into the social impact of gambling in Rotorua has been approved by the Rotorua Lakes Council.

Rotorua Lakes Council has decided a community survey on the social impact of gambling will go ahead and has given voting rights to community board representatives on council committees.

The decisions were among those made at a meeting of the council today and were both unanimous.

Councillors agreed an independent survey of between 300 and 500 people - expected to cost up to $18,000, more if more people were surveyed - go ahead as part of an extensive review of the council's Class 4 Gambling Venue and Board Policy 2011.

Councillor Trevor Maxwell declared a conflict of interest and withdrew from the discussion because he is chairman of the New Zealand Community Trust for the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and King Country. It has more than 100 pokie machines in Rotorua.

Results from the survey are due back mid-February and will be followed by a public consultation process.

Meanwhile, Rotorua will have to wait a few more weeks to find out which councillors are to be portfolio leaders.

The portfolio leaders and their deputies will be discussed at a meeting on December 15.

However, the committee structure for council committees has been confirmed.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait will be chairwoman of the council's strategy, policy and finance committee with Charles Sturt the chairman of the operations and monitoring committee.

One representative from each of the council's two community boards - rural and lakes - will sit on each committee and will be given full voting rights.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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