Remove sports bar, keep Kaiti safe

COLUMN

Mokopuna, tamariki, whanau by any name are taonga. In Kaiti our taonga are raised in a community like no other in Gisborne — they are raised next to Kaiti Sports Bar.

Kaiti is the only suburb with a pokie venue, TAB and alcohol in the one premise, located next to sensitive sites such as residential housing, schools, churches, kohanga reo and preschool. There are two off-licences and a Lotto in the same vicinity, the Kaiti Mall.

Eighteen years after the first opposition to these premises, we are again asking decision-makers to look at the challenges faced by our community and to choose to keep Kaiti safe.

While the Gisborne District Licensing Committee (DLC) heard the voice of our community, their decision was appealed and a stay granted to Kaiti Sports Bar — which has allowed them to continue trading, because of the hardship they would have faced otherwise.

With all due respect, the industry has fought to be able to relocate its pokie machines through relocation clauses in Class 4 gambling and board venue policies.

When they choose not to relocate and a decision of a DLC does not go in their favour, then those industries and ultimately businesses have inflicted their own hardship upon themselves.

This is an issue that turns on amenity and good order of the locality under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. It is easier by far to relocate a business in order to keep a community safe.

This most assuredly is a gambling den. Two thirds of its business is invested in gambling, being TAB and pokies; the suppressed financial statements confirm it is a gambling den. People confirmed that it is mainly used for gambling.

The Gambling Commission has said it is the use to which the public puts the venue which is important, and not just the purpose for which the owner thinks the business was established.

One of the fundamental purposes of the Gambling Act 2003 is to facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.

Our community has spoken. It has chosen to Keep Kaiti Safe and wants the premises removed.

Lizz Crawford

Kaiwhakahaere, Te Ara Tika

Tairawhiti Gambling Services

Mokopuna, tamariki, whanau by any name are taonga. In Kaiti our taonga are raised in a community like no other in Gisborne — they are raised next to Kaiti Sports Bar.

Kaiti is the only suburb with a pokie venue, TAB and alcohol in the one premise, located next to sensitive sites such as residential housing, schools, churches, kohanga reo and preschool. There are two off-licences and a Lotto in the same vicinity, the Kaiti Mall.

Eighteen years after the first opposition to these premises, we are again asking decision-makers to look at the challenges faced by our community and to choose to keep Kaiti safe.

While the Gisborne District Licensing Committee (DLC) heard the voice of our community, their decision was appealed and a stay granted to Kaiti Sports Bar — which has allowed them to continue trading, because of the hardship they would have faced otherwise.

With all due respect, the industry has fought to be able to relocate its pokie machines through relocation clauses in Class 4 gambling and board venue policies.

When they choose not to relocate and a decision of a DLC does not go in their favour, then those industries and ultimately businesses have inflicted their own hardship upon themselves.

This is an issue that turns on amenity and good order of the locality under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. It is easier by far to relocate a business in order to keep a community safe.

This most assuredly is a gambling den. Two thirds of its business is invested in gambling, being TAB and pokies; the suppressed financial statements confirm it is a gambling den. People confirmed that it is mainly used for gambling.

The Gambling Commission has said it is the use to which the public puts the venue which is important, and not just the purpose for which the owner thinks the business was established.

One of the fundamental purposes of the Gambling Act 2003 is to facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.

Our community has spoken. It has chosen to Keep Kaiti Safe and wants the premises removed.

Lizz Crawford

Kaiwhakahaere, Te Ara Tika

Tairawhiti Gambling Services

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W Gerrard - 4 months ago
Well said Lizz! Kaiti Sports Bar's owners should be ashamed of themselves for appealing the original decision and laughable they say it will be a hardship to them. As for the gutless cowards who granted the stay, it shows the Kaiti community that this venue is more important than they are! I for one will support the community to have this venue removed through protesting, petitions etc.

Tuta Ngarimu - 4 months ago
I 101 percent support you Lizz. This has been an ongoing concern since the day this gambling bar was set up nearly 20 years ago. Let's turn it into a vege shop. Enough is enough!

Colin Bridle, Tokoroa - 4 months ago
When councils and public bodies continue to apologise for allowing Class 4 Pokie and TAB venues in high-deprivation communities they need their heads read. Surely our Prime Minister needs to pass her child poverty lense over the plight of the poor in this situation; we are looking for politicians with heart.

In 1833, 185 years ago, slavery was abolished in England. It was until then considered acceptable practice; it was the backbone of the colonial British Empire's source of wealth. We have similar scavengers today; ripping off the poor in our community. What about our collective care for others? Surely, like slavery whose time is done, we today as communities must rise up and remove class 4 pokie venues from our impoverished communities.

Prime Minister and Cabinet, please look at the present Gambling Act and reform it. Better still, remove pokie machines from our country.

People shriek about loss of pokie funding; look at the growth in Lotto, surely some of that funding can be ring-fenced to replace the pokie funding shortfall? If you take away the need for community funding, what purpose do pokie machines have?

Where is the conscience of our politicians these days? To fight these gambling giants, we living in high-deprivation communities have to go to the High Court and ask for a judicial review, while the clubs can use their considerable wealth to stop us.

Is it fair burden to place the cost of a judicial review on high-deprivation communities? Is it moral; is it right? I think not.

We support you. Keep Kaiti Safe.