Although the poker machines in Arrowtown do not appear to be
used to capacity, more machines may exacerbate existing
problems in the community, a submission against a proposal
for nine new machines says.
Air Rescue Services operates gaming machines to raise funds
for charitable and community organisations in Canterbury,
Otago and Marlborough, as well as on the West Coast, and has
applied to the Queenstown Lakes District Council to operate
nine machines at Jonesy's Cafe and Bar.
At a hearing on Wednesday three submissions were heard
against the proposal.
Arrowtown resident Gary Cody submitted the machines would be
"unsympathetic to the character of Arrowtown" and harmful to
the community, and there were already machines which were
"Anyone who works in the counselling or community services
field in Arrowtown can tell you there is an already existing
underbelly in the region that is caught in the cycle of
poverty, dysfunction, addiction and family breakdown and the
myriad of associated issues," Mr Cody said.
"The trust that seems to be the one benefiting from the
introduction of more machines is also far removed from any
Arrowtown community interest. The present machines at least
have more direct community needs and charities as
benefactors, which I believe is more in line with the
It was mentioned in all three submissions that Arrowtown
already had nine machines at the New Orleans Hotel and
submitters believed this was ample.
Thomas Dunbar submitted there were also machines in Frankton
and an even larger number in central Queenstown.
"Gaming machines cause an incredible amount of harm in the
community, hence the reason many district councils around New
Zealand are listening to their communities and prohibiting
new venues from obtaining licences," Mr Dunbar said in his
"Isn't it time our council follows suit?"
The lawyer for Air Rescue Services, Shaun Cottrell, argued
nine new machines would not create a concentration, rather it
would give those interested a choice of venue.
Mr Cottrell noted two of the submitters "appear to be
associated with the current monopoly venue in Arrowtown".
Councillors Leigh Overton and Mel Gazzard, conducting the
hearings panel, adjourned the hearing pending more
information from the applicant.