"FEED FAMILIES NOT POKIES" - Stop the mini casino opening in Tokoroa!

$533 of $100,000 goal
Given by 11 generous donors in around 6 months

To raise $100,000 to take our fight to the High Court to seek a judicial review of an invalid ministerial decision on gaming site approval.


The Tokoroa community needs your help to stop a ‘mini casino’ being created in the heart of their town.

Tokoroa is a high deprivation community with 49% of the population living on a median income of less than $20,000 per annum. The town has 133 pokie machines in eight venues and over $5 million was poured into those machines over the last year alone.

That’s why a small group of passionate community members are determined to stop Pockets 8 Ball Club merging with two other clubs and opening a new 30 pokie machine venue on Bridge Street Tokoroa.

The group have formed an incorporated society called Feed Families Not Pokies and armed with a petition containing over 2400 signatures, will do what they can to prevent this ‘mini casino’ being created in the heart of Tokoroa.

The club merger has been approved by the South Waikato District Council (SWDC), the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the former Minister of Internal Affairs. The SWDC approved the merger in a meeting that wasn’t open to the public.

The Department of Internal Affairs is in the process of issuing the licences the venue needs to begin operating.

Pockets ‘club’ has two venues in Tokoroa with a total of 34 pokie machines that took $2.9 million in 2016 and $3.1 million in 2015 and most of the money went back into the club, very little money went back into the community. If the current Pockets proposal goes ahead, Tokoroa township will have seven pokie venues with a total of 138 pokie machines; the pokies at Pockets 8 Ball taking more than $4 million.

The community doesn’t need any more of these addictive machines that fuel poverty and profoundly impact on the physical, emotional, and financial health of whanau, friends, workmates and others in the wider community.

This isn’t about individual choice. It’s about a gambling product that preys on the vulnerable and causes harm, significantly impacting on communities and the families living in them.

Here’s how you can help

A barrister and a senior policy analyst who have been doing a lot of work on this issue pro bono have advised that there is a clear case for judicial review due to some significant flaws in the official decision-making processes. But that legal action will cost money.

Feed Families Not Pokies need your support to stop this mega pokie machine merger in Tokoroa. We are looking to raise $100,000 to take our fight to the corridors of power and the High Court to seek a judicial review. Please share, tweet, email, have conversations with everyone you know and if possible, please contribute.

Use of funds

Funds will be used for legal expenses and administration of the Society. Surplus funds will go to services providing gambling harm support or research in Social Harm Impact reports for high deprivation communities in New Zealand.

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Pippa Jerram on 14 May 2018

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, FEED FAMILIES NOT POKIES SOCIETY INCORPORATED (Group)
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This campaign started on 11 May 2018 and ended on 11 Nov 2018.