Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: SpinCity

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Richard Llewellyn,

    the extent of problem gambling

    You're right there is a long history of gambling in NZ. I paid for my degrees by working at the races selling tickets to punters. But there appears to be a specific problem with pokie machines. They have been designed specifically to stimulate and reward long term play. There have been studies showing dopamine changes in people sitting at pokie machines. It seems pokie machines in particular have been designed to be addictive and unlike many other forms of gambling there is no time limit. So when I was selling tickets at the races you could see some of the folks couldn't help themselves, but they also had to stop after the last race, with pokie machines that isn't true. So yes there is a qualitative difference that make pokie machines worse for the people susceptable to that kind of addiction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Richard Llewellyn,

    On a large scale convention centre

    I don't think many people would disagree that a convention centre would probably be of benefit to NZ and Auckland in particular. It's possible to stuff it up and it's also worth noting that NZ is a long way from the rest of the world so the success of a convention centre in say Prague does not necessarily equate to success in NZ.

    The problem is how this government has chosen to fund the construction. First is the issue of how the deal was struck with Sky city - essentially one bidder for the contract was given significant assistance by the government to present a successful bid. And second the trade off between funding from Sky city and permission to install more pokie machines from our representatives in parliament who are meant to be acting for the benefit of all NZers.

    So I have two problems with the deal, first was it the only deal that could have been made? And second I disagree that trading pokie machines that harm society is balanced by the good of having a convention centre.

    The first problem is a matter of due process which appears to have been abandonned in this deal.

    The second is about personal priorities and in this case I know the National government is not representing my priorities (colour me surprised).

    So yeah build a convention centre. Get sponsorship from some hotel. Fund some of it from tax dollars (yes I'll pay more taxes to do that).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Isn't politics wonderful.

    Skycity is the highly visible face of gambling. Skycity is a crony corporation that has been cronying up successfully to governments since its conception. It is a state granted monopoly that runs a typically monopolistic enterprise - a cavernous, dreary and disappointing service. And it has been granted new monopoly powers. Whoope-de-do. The new convention centre will be bland dreary shite, supported by the casino monopoly granted to Skycity.

    As long as no political party is talking about stripping the monopoly from Skycity, it is all political BS.

    We'll the ususal get lectures on the harm of pokies - but we can also gamble at the TAB, at the computer, at the corner dairy, at the pub or on any mobile device. Avenues of gambling that have grown under successive governments. And will continue to grow under the next government.

    To say that Labour is different from National, because the exact same deal (for a dreary convention centre) under Labour was handled by a regulatory process of "integrity" and Labour then acted to reduce prevalence of pokie machines - that is a stretch . Especially when the same Labour government between 2005 and 2008 poured money hand over fist into the racing industry; compared to the present National government slashing this funding.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It’s yet another symptom of the nation being run from a golf cart on a country club green, instead of Parliament.

    Me & my golf buddies reject your portrayal of golf. None of us would run the country in as authoritarian and right-of-centre manner.

    Besides, you'd get shot for taking your golf cart onto 1 of the greens.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Pretty much hitting the nail on the head - IMO

    Whoope-de-do. The new convention centre will be bland dreary shite, supported by the casino monopoly granted to Skycity.

    As long as no political party is talking about stripping the monopoly from Skycity, it is all political BS.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Peter Shaw,

    Oh that's all right then, I guess climate change is cancelled.

    See you on the ark.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stewart,

    Besides, you’d get shot for taking your golf cart onto 1 of the greens.

    Excellent point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Apropos of my usual subject, Christchurch (I can hear you groan but I'll be brief), I reckon we could get a similar jiggery-pokery deal set up for our unwanted mega-convention centre that ratepayers are being threatened with.

    It is a sore point with many down here that the government has decreed that a large convention centre in Christchurch is essential to save the South Island tourism industry, and that Christchurch people have to pay for it. We have no way of stopping it even though it will take over a good quarter of the Square and loom over Victoria Square.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Hebe,

    Apropos of my usual subject, Christchurch (I can hear you groan but I’ll be brief),

    What is this groan that you mention? I just wish that for all you down there, your home, roads, sewer and land were considered more important than a friggin "community" convention centre but as is consistent with other National significant projects, I doubt it.

    Hope to see you back with more of what you have to offer, otherwise you have my email.
    Go well…

    Islander, (who is down there and probably understandably tetchy like many ) I have your email and will reply soon.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I just wish that for all you down there, your home, roads, sewer and land were considered more important than a friggin "community" convention centre but as is consistent with other National significant projects, I doubt it.

    Sofie, I could live with what is being planned for my home if it were the result of a democratic process where the people who will pay for these projects had a voice in the future shape, tone and type of city. As it is, we have zero say: the laughable three-year LTP is being finalised by our council as required by law while talks are ongoing between the govt and the council on how the big projects will be funded.

    In other words, without knowing what we have to budget for, the council is forced to decide its spending priorities. When the government decides the funding split, the LTP will be overridden.

    No say on what or where for anyone local. Add to that the central government's takeover of the regional council, and a city council bypassed by the CCDU and CERA. This is the biggest suspension of democracy ever seen in New Zealand. It's time to give it back! (Beds Are Burning keeps running though my mind as I write this.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Does anyone know when John key was last on Checkpoint? I assume that he has been on this year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to hamishm,

    What's he on?*

    Does anyone know when John key was last on Checkpoint?

    "Wellington is a dead city"
    "Solid Energy is a broken company"
    Well he could appear on Morning Report as the bird of the day:
    - The Albatross... hanging around all our necks!

    *he's on the same Kool Aid asset jag that
    Fay Richwhite quaffed so happily from...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

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