Children are being left to wait outside Kaitaia pubs while their parents are inside gambling – parents who could ill-afford to lose $100, says former New Zealander of the year, and Kaitaia GP, Lance O’Sullivan.
Yet it was a problem that was “so simple to fix”, O’Sullivan said.
He’s calling on the Government “show some courage” and ban pokie machines in high-need areas like the Far North, where he said they were doing significant harm.
“These machines are taking food out of the mouths of children and there’s a cure there and it’s just not on,” O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan said the Government had to act if it was serious about reducing child poverty.
“We’re talking millions being taken out of the Far North community every year through pokie machines and when I go into a cafe, and at the back is a whole lot of pokie machines – there are just people who can’t afford to lose money in there and it doesn’t recycle into our community.
“We don’t see it again and that causes significant harm in our community.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99251922/pokies-taking-food-out-of-the-mouths-of-children-says-gp-lance-osullivan