Ka Pai Kaiti want pokies gone

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Gisborne community group Ka Pai Kaiti want pokies out of their community and will be protesting against the Kaiti Club Hotel formerly known as the Kaiti TAB. But they're not stopping at just pokies they want liquor gone from the mall too. 

Manager of Ka Pai Kaiti Tuta Ngarimu says, "We see domestics out there in the mall just about every day. People trying to drag partners out of there and our people that go in there. The majority are addicted and when you're lost in that addiction world, all sense goes out the window."

It's one of three liquor outlets in the Kaiti area, but it's only at this one where alcohol can be consumed on site.

"We've got a lot of whānau that will give anything to go in there and go on those machines. You've got these people that own this venue that thrive on the misery of our people."

The group opposed the renewal of it's on-license due to expire this month, the Gisborne District Licensing Committee agreed and declined to grant its renewal.

"So they lost it their license as it expired on 31 Dec but we knew because of the amount of money they make there they'd put an appeal in. So they put an appeal in and we countered that and the judge in Wellington said that they can have a temporary license to operate until Christmas until an appeal date has been set."

Mr Ngarimu has been issued a trespass notice from the owner-occupier of the premises Mr Gurwinder Singh.

But the setbacks haven't deterred Mr Ngarimu or Ka Pai Kaiti who intend to protest outside the hotel next Wednesday at 11am.

The Kaiti Club Hotel could not be reached for comment.