During this week, events and activities will take place around the country that aim to raise awareness in our communities about the harm from gambling, particularly pokie machines; the most harmful form of gambling. Although these events are fun, family events, they carry a serious message.
Harmful gambling impacts our whānau and our communities. An estimated 54,000 people in New Zealand are problem or moderate risk gamblers.
An estimated 37,000 people aged 15 years or older in New Zealand are at high risk of gambling harm or ‘problem gamblers’, about 47,000 are moderate risk and a further 106,000 are low-risk but will experience gambling-related harm during their lifetime. Every person with a gambling problem affects up to six other people.
It is a significant social issue that can’t be ignored.
Gambling Harm Awareness Week 2022 is from the 5th to the 9th of September. Here is what we are doing as part of this week and beyond:
Mapu Maia is currently working on a project in the Mid-Central and Wellington region with Pacific churches, who were a part of Mapu Maia's Covid response and vaccine initiative during the Omicron outbreak in 2021. Between Gambling Harm Awareness Week and June 2023, Mapu Maia will be proactively working alongside these churches, delivering gambling harm awareness workshops to them and their communities.
In Auckland PGF Services is hosting the Health and Wellness Seniors Expo (Thursday 8th Sept. 10am – 2pm Mangere Town Centre, Central Mall) to raise awareness of gambling harm relevant to older adults, connect with local health and wellbeing services as well as community groups to support our older population's wellness.
In the South Island we are planning a series of stalls during the week: Eastgate Mall, The Hub Hornby and New Brighton Saturday Markets.
Asian Family Services is linking up with the New Zealand International Student Association to connect with International Students through their nationwide roadshows, stopping in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Otago in September and October
Mapu Maia and PGF Services will also be taking part in the 'Te Ngira Gambling Harm Awareness' stall at SkyCity Casino Auckland for Gambling Harm Awareness Week from Monday September 05 to Friday September 09, between 12pm-8pm each day.
We are also supporting the mahi of Safer Gambling Aotearoa, spreading Nan’s Song, a nationwide campaign to help people spot the signs and do something to prevent further gambling harm. Find out more by clicking here.
The first Gamblefree Day was held on 1 September 2005.
Delegates at the CommUnity Action on Gambling Conference held in Hamilton in 2004 decided that a national gamblefree day would raise awareness about problem gambling in New Zealand.
The proposal, suggested by Paul Lavulo, of the National Pacific Gambling Project was endorsed by the delegates at the conference and Gamblefree Day has been an annual event on 1 September since 2005.
Community groups throughout New Zealand are encouraged to take direct action on the day. A co-ordinated national campaign will help ensure that the public are made aware of the harm pokies in our society cause.