Waimakariri District Council

Have your say on pokies in Waimakariri.

What is happening?

Waimakariri District Council is currently reviewing its Class 4 gambling venues policy. The Council is receiving submissions on its proposed policy until Monday 11 July.

You can provide your feedback to the Council here.


What is the council proposing?

Waimakariri District Council is considering changes to Clauses 7 and 12 of their Class 4 gambling policy.

  • Clause 7 - That a district-wide cap of 1 gambling machine per 120 people 18 years old or older be used as a guideline to limit any increase in machine numbers
    • Option 1 - status quo
    • Option 2 - cap machine numbers at 157 (current level)
    • Option 3 - ratio to be current level at 1:260
    • Option 4 - introduce a sinking lid policy

  • Clause 12 - Introduce a Relocation Policy
    • Option 1 - status quo
    • Option 2 - relocation of machines is allowed where the venue is intended to replace an existing venue
    • Option 3 - relocation of machines is not allowed

What do we think?

Waimakariri District Council currently has a cap of 1 gaming machine per 120 people. This means a further 133 pokie machines can be installed.

We are encouraging the Council to adopt a sinking lid policy and prohibit relocations or club mergers. A sinking lid is the best policy to control the growth of gambling and minimise harm.

32 of the 67 TLAs around New Zealand have already introduced sinking lid policies. This is partly driven by strong public opinion about harm and partly TLA’s concern to promote community wellbeing. This is consistent with the purpose of the Gambling Act 2003 and section 4 where the definition of gambling harm includes harm to society at large.


Our recommendations on pokie policies

PGF Group recommends that Gambling Venue policies should include the following three provisions:

  1. A ban on any new venues. No permit will be given to operate any new venue or club in the council area if that venue proposes having pokies - including TAB venues.
  2. No relocations. If a venue with pokie machines is forced to close or voluntarily closes, the council will not permit the pokies to be relocated to any venue within the council area.
  3. No club mergers. There will be no merging of club pokies under any circumstances.

Waimakariri Pokie Stats

According to the Department of Internal Affairs, as at 31 December 2021, around $8.8 million was lost on pokies in Waimakariri alone. In 2020, $7.5 million was lost on pokies in Waimakariri.

At the end of December 2021, there were 165 pokie machines located across the 11 Class 4 gambling venues in Waimakariri.

Resources and Links

Frequently Asked Questions