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Council approves clarifications to pokie machine gambling policies

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Updates to the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s gambling policies, adopted today, will clarify the rules for pub and club operators wanting to cancel or transfer their pokie machine licenses.

"The adopted changes to the Class 4 Gambling Policy and TAB Venue Gambling Policy 2011 will set clearer conditions, and in some cases place more restrictions, on the rules for cancelling pokie machine licenses or transferring them to another venue," says Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan.

"The previous policy gave the Council very little visibility over what happened to pokie machine licenses when a venue operator either shut shop or decided they no longer wanted their license.

"The new policy clearly sets out the conditions that license-holders need to meet if they want to re-locate their machines to another venue.

"It also addresses issues around the relocation of pokie machines in areas of the District that are more at risk of problem gambling - such as Ōtaki, which currently has more pokie machines than the cap allows."

"Whenever an operator wishes to relocate their machines, the Council will issue a public notice informing our communities of their plans and inviting people to tell us what they think."

Mayor K Gurunathan says the maximum number of pokie machines permitted in each community has been a key consideration in the review.

"The number of pokie machines in each community is currently below the permitted cap, with the exception of Ōtaki where numbers are higher but gradually reducing."

"We believe the caps, put in place in 2011, continue to strike a sensible balance between recognising the rights of recreational gamblers and business owners while protecting our communities from problem gambling."

The Council will be in touch with operators of gambling venues, and pokie machine license-holders, about the changes shortly.

Spruce up on the way for Maclean Park facilities block

The Kāpiti Coast District Council will carry out a minor refresh of the existing Maclean Park facilities block this autumn, replacing the existing toilets and basins, as well as installing new flooring.

The refresh will serve as an interim step ahead of the full refurbishment that’s planned for these facilities in the future as part of the Maclean Park long term redevelopment.

Parks and Recreation Manager, Alison Law, says the work will provide a much needed mini makeover for the facilities in this popular park.

"We’ve heard loud and clear from the community that these facilities need a spruce up. Once this minor refresh is complete you’ll notice new flooring, new toilets and basins. At this stage we’re focusing on the inside of the toilets, where improvements are most needed, but we’ll also be adding a coat of paint to smarten up the exterior."

"While this work won’t cover adding more toilets, or repair work on the outside of the block, as part of the long term Maclean Park development we’re looking to build a larger amenity block with showers and toilets in the future. That money’s not available yet so we’re carrying out these improvements in the meantime.

"The full refurbishment of the amenity block is currently scheduled for 2032. The park’s redevelopment is long term and has been staged over an extended time period because a limited amount of funding has been set aside as part of the 2018-38 Long Term Plan, and we’ve had to make some calls on prioritisation. Other stages of development are happening first, as they’ll help to create a more usable park for all users."

The minor refresh will happen alongside the other improvements currently taking place in the park, which includes expanding and landscaping the new grass area to fill in the remainder of the pond, adding outdoor furniture and covered BBQ’s to the new space, starting work on a central path through the park, and upgrading and relocating the basketball court.

The work’s expected to be carried out in May and take around four weeks to complete. The Council will make sure toilet facilities continue to be available for park-goers during this time.

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