The Pause the Pokies initiative started in 2017 with seven venues in Lower Hutt. This year an incredible 81 venues participated in a nationwide campaign that saw pubs and clubs from Kaitaia to Bluff turning off their pokies for an hour during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.
Everyone that participated in Pause the Pokies had positive stories to share. We all enjoyed donning our t-shirts, and getting out in the community to visit venues and start conversations.
Pause the Pokies provided an excellent opportunity to build relationships with venue owners and managers and to engage with patrons in the venues during the hour the machines were turned off.
We had discussions about gambling harm with many people all around the country and while an hour might not seem long to pause the pokies, as one of our Facebook friends said, ‘a waterfall starts with one drop of water’.
A big thank you to everyone involved in this initiative:
The Salvation Army Oasis, Nga Kete Mataranga Pounamu Charitable Trust; Te Ara Tika Tairawhiti Gambling Services; Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust – Hawke’s Bay Gambling Services; Best Care (Whakapai Hauora) Charitable Trust; ILT Invercargill Licensing Trust; Nga Manga Puriri – Northland Gambling Support; Tui Ora, Mapu Maia; and Asian Family Services.
And who knows; next year we could be pausing the pokies with a whole lot more!
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