Dr Lance O’Sullivan is calling on the country to do away with pokie machines.
The former New Zealander Of The Year has laid a challenge to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to ban pokies altogether, linking it to the country’s shocking child poverty statistics.
“I’m not keen on pokie machines,” said Dr O’Sullivan.
“They contribute to child poverty in communities such as Kaitaia.”
Dr O’Sullivan acknowledges that community groups benefit from pokie machines through gaming trusts but funding is not going back into the communities where the money is coming from.
“I’m not disputing the fact that there should be community fundraising drives,” said Dr O’Sullivan.
“Some of the recipients of the Far North Gaming Trust have been like the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, College Rifles Rugby Club. And I’m like, I don’t think I see any of the children or the people who are in the gaming clubs and venues benefiting from this.”
Dr O’Sullivan says the country can do better than just rely on pokie machines that are taking the money out of the wrong people’s hands.
If you or any whanau need help with problem gambling, you can call the number below:
Gambling Helpline - 0800 654 655