Wednesday is Gamble-Free Day, and the manager of a Maori problem gambling service says it's a great chance to reflect on the damage pokie machines are causing to communities.
Zoe Hawke from the south Auckland Maori public health provider Hapai Te Hauora Tapui says that although many councils are bringing in sinking-lid policies, there are still far too many gaming machines in poor suburbs.
Former addicts, she told Waatea News, are driving the kaupapa. "They are leading the charge on trying to change policies in their local communities," she says.
Ms Hawke says Gamble-Free Day was started in 2004 by delegates at a Rotorua conference on community action on gambling.