Regional | Gambling

$12.5 million generated from Hawke's Bay pokies in 3 months

$12.5m was generated from Pokies in the Hawke's Bay in just 3 months. Photo / Whakaata Māori

Addiction is considered a brain disorder because it involves changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control.

It's defined as a chronic relapsing disorder characterised by compulsive use of something despite adverse consequences.

Gambling can be an addiction.

What starts off as a little fun or a hobby can drastically turn into something devastatingly harmful, something which is breaking down whānau in our communities.

In Hawke’s Bay alone, around $12.5m was generated over the past 3 months from slot (aka pokey machines). These games of chance have enticed too many of our whānau into a trap. Statistics show that these pokey machines are mainly situated in areas where our Māori and Pacific whānau live.

Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust - Hawke’s Bay Gambling Services is an organisation that can help. Funded by the Ministry of Health, they provide free counselling and health promotion services to all communities within the wider Hawke’s Bay including Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, and Central Hawke’s Bay. Their aim is to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

The team at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust have put together a mini doco called Breaking of a New Dawn – Understanding Gambling Harm in Hawke’s Bay. This documentary is a valuable opportunity to help to give the community a brief insight into understanding gambling harm here in Hawke’s Bay.

A free viewing will take place at the Focal Point Cinema in Hastings, at 10am Monday, March 6.

Eventually, this opportunity will be available in Wairoa, Napier and Central Hawke's Bay. There are limited spaces, so it's important that you register your interest by contacting Ricky at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust.

Help is available to anyone who may be experiencing Gambling Addiction whether you need help for yourself or a loved one. Te Rangihaeata Oranga – Gambling Recovery Service Hawke’s Bay has support staff there to help you.

All clinicians at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust/Hawke’s Bay Gambling Services are highly qualified health professionals with specialities in gambling.

Find out more information on their website or simply call their head office in Hastings to talk on the phone and/or book a time to go in for a chat or they will come to you. Everything is free and confidential.

Their head office is in Hastings is 210 Lyndon Road West, opposite the St Matthews Anglican Church, email

How do you know if you have a problem with gambling?

· Do you spend a lot of time and money gambling?

· Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?

· Have you ever lied about how much you gambled?

· Have you faced financial difficulty because of gambling?

· Do you withdraw from your family because of gambling?

· Do you feel incapable of stopping?

· Do you neglect your relationships to gamble?

· Have you taken out a loan to gamble?

If you answered yes to one or more or all of these questions, you may have a problem. The good news is that there is always help available for you or for someone you know.

Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust provides free advice, support and counselling to anyone in the community who may be worried about someone else’s gambling. It could be your partner, children, an employee, or close friend. Don’t be afraid to learn more by asking.

The hard truth about gambling is that it is an addiction that is harming individuals, families and communities. The great news is that there is a way out and you can live your life by Choice not Chance.

Gambling? Need help? Nationwide support is available.

Gambling Helpline Services 0800 654 655 Or text to 8006

Māori Gambling Helpline 0800 654 656

Vai Lelei Pasifika Gambling Helpline 0800 654 657

Gambling Debt Helpline 0800 654 658

Youth Gambling Helpline 0800 654 659

Asian Hotline (Problem Gambling Foundation) 0800 862 342

The Salvation Army Oasis Centres (Public Health and Intervention Services) 0800 53 00 00
Go to a listing of local services and their respective phone numbers

Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (Public Health and Intervention Services) 0800 664 262

Additional local support services can be found here on the Ministry of health website.