Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy Review

The Decision

On Thursday 30 November 2023 , Council made the decision to:

  1. Receive the report.
  2. Agree to recommend that the Council approve the new Class 4 Gaming Machine and TAB Venues Policy 2023.
  3. Note that the Policy includes a comprehensive sinking lid, removing the ability for venues to relocate and merge.
  4. Note that the Policy does not include an ethical commitment as included in the Statement of Proposal for consultation.

You can view the reports and minutes from the Council meetings here.

Please refer to the meeting on 30 November 2023.

The Proposal

We’d like to hear your thoughts on Class 4 Gaming Machines (or pokies) usually located inside pubs or clubs rather than traditional gambling venues like casinos. Although we recognise gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment, we must assess the social impacts of Class 4 Gaming on our community.

As a part of this assessment and our obligations under the Gambling Act 2003, Porirua City Council is reviewing its Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy.

You can read our current Class 4 Gaming Machine Venue and TAB Venue Policy 2019 here.

Our recent social impact assessment to help inform community submissions and councillor decisions, can be found here

Porirua City Council is seeking feedback from the community on the proposed alternative options for our Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB venues policy included below.

These options were developed using evidence from the social impact assessment and from discussions held with representatives from Ngāti Toa, the Department of Internal Affairs, Problem Gambling Foundation NZ, Gaming Machines Association NZ and Mapu Maia.

Policy options include:

More restrictions on Class 4 gaming machines

What this means:

The revised policy will see more restrictions placed around what actions venues can take in the future. This includes the inability to relocate to a new location within Porirua City with their gaming machines and/or merge and combine or increase the number of gaming machines.

It also means that if a Class 4 Gaming venue is closed for over six months, it cannot be re‑opened by another operator. This approach means that over time, the number of Class 4 Gaming venues and gaming machines are likely to continue decreasing.

No changes to current policy

What this means:

The policy would remain as it is and relocation/merge abilities would remain for current venues. It’s important to note that if the policy was to remain unchanged, a consequential amendment is needed due to zone changes made in the Proposed District Plan. The change, if required, will remove reference to the district plan and include a bespoke map that will identify the specific approved locations for Class 4 Gaming venues to reside and relocate.

Porirua City Council could make an ethical commitment to not apply for grant funding from the proceeds of gaming machines

What this means:

This option includes an ethical commitment by Porirua City Council to not apply for grant funding from the proceeds of gaming machines.

The purpose of this option is to demonstrate to our communities in Porirua that Council is committed to taking a wellbeing approach to minimising harm caused by Class 4 Gaming, especially to our most vulnerable communities. We are willing to no longer apply for funding that is provided through Corporate Societies from the proceeds of Class 4 Gaming.

Evidence shows that this money is currently being taken from some of our most vulnerable communities and is not equitably returned or distributed to these communities.

Council applies for pokies grant funding each year to support the following activities:

  • Te Pahi - a bus service used by schools to transport children to activities across the Wellington region.
  • Love Local – a event that celebrates local businesses.
  • Porirua Sport Awards - an event that celebrates local sporting achievements.
  • Waitangi Day – our yearly event run in partnership with Ngāti Toa to celebrate our national day.
  • Matariki Celebrations – events run to celebrate the Māori new year across Porirua.

This option will have a financial impact for Council and our communities that attend these events

What this means:

Council will need to consider additional funding sources to maintain these activities including whether this would be through an increase in rates. If we were to cover the impacted activities through rates, this is estimated to be around $211,656 [1] or as a percentage rates increase it would be 0.22% increase per year [2].

See the Statement of Proposal for more information on the ethical commitment.

[1] These figures are intended to provide an estimate of the financial costs required to cover these events and services in the future. The figures are based on what has been received between 2020-2022 for each event or service and may not reflect the actual amount that would be applied for or received in the future. Council will need to consider additional funding sources to maintain these activities, including through an increase in rates.

[2] For reference: a 1% rates increase is equivalent to approximately $950,000.

Consultation Documents

Have your say

Key Dates

Want to know more?

When What
08 September 2023 Submissions open
14 September 2023 Drop in City Hub, 7 Serlby Place, 11:30am - 1:30pm
18 September 2023 Drop in City Hub, 7 Serlby Place, 11:30am - 1:30pm
01 October 2023 Drop in Pataka Spine, 17 Parumoana Street, 11:00am - 1:00pm
08 October 2023 Submissions close
19 October 2023 Submitters present to Te Puna Kōrero (if required)
02 November 2023 Te Puna Kōrero Committee deliberates, and policy agreed
30 November 2023 Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy 2023 adopted

Frequently Asked Questions

Class 4 Gambling is recognised as a legitimate form of entertainment. However, there is significant evidence and research that shows the addictive nature and use of gaming machines and other forms of gambling can lead to an addiction to gambling, also known as problem gambling. Problem gambling is a social and health issue in New Zealand that causes substantial problems for gamblers and the people around them, including family, whānau, friends, work colleagues and the wider community. Government/ Council regulations and restrictions on the access of gaming machines is one measure to prevent and minimise the impacts caused by problem gambling.

Porirua City Council does not have the controls to stop all Class 4 Gambling from occurring within city.

We can only establish a policy to specify whether or not new Class 4 venues and TAB venues may be established in the area, and, if so, where they may be located. Any venues already established before this policy was introduced cannot be impacted other than through the relocation policy and some are impacted by the approved number of gaming machine numbers.

The Department of Internal Affairs, under the Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Industry Act 2020, ultimately control and determine all Class 4 Gambling and allow this to occur across New Zealand.

This is important to know as Council is only able to consult on the contents of our Class 4 Gaming Machines Policy and does not have influence over the overall statutory framework that enables gaming machines in our society. More information is available on the DIA website here:

Nothing. If Council decides to make this ethical commitment, it would be made solely by Porirua City Council to our own funding and would not impact how our community access funding.

Council is only considering funds received from gaming machine grants and not funds from the NZ Lottery grants board. This is because the evidence shows that Class 4 Gambling is the most common cause of problem gambling harm for our communities in Porirua.

Like most grant funding Council has to apply for the funding and is not guaranteed access to any of this funding. So, we would not be able to commit to accessing more of the funding as it is not decided by Council. However, we also believe it would not be the best approach for Council to apply for more of this funding for the reasons outlined above.

If you would like more information or access to support for yourself or a family member you can reach out to the below organisations.

  • Ora Toa Mauriora:

A Kaupapa Māori Primary mental health and addictions service provider, Ora Toa Mauriora endeavours to provide culturally appropriate, quality care services for all people.

Email: [email protected]


Phone: 04 238 4071

  • Taeaomanino Trust:

Phone: 0800 345 345 or (04) 2376062

Email: [email protected]

Address: 10 Prosser Street, Elsdon, Porirua 5022

  • Mapu Maia:

Mapu Maia provides a holistic service to individuals, families and communities that is culturally appropriate and effective. We offer free, professional and confidential counselling services and education. The team at Mapu Maia are able to meet you where you most feel comfortable. Their experienced and qualified staff work with you and your family and can provide language support in English, Samoan and Tongan.

You can reach out to Gerhart Berking, the National Public health lead at Mapu Maia

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 09 212 6786


  • Asian Family Services:

The Asian Helpline 0800 862 342, available Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, or by visiting

The Helpline is available in eight languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Hindi and English, or by visiting

Asian Family Services are contracted by Te Whatu Ora and offers free, confidential, and culturally sensitive support to gamblers, affected family members, and others impacted by harmful gambling. The services encompass one-on-one, couple, and group counselling, along with social work support.

  • Salvation Army Oasis:

Address: 219 Riddiford Street, Newtown

Ph: 04 389 6566 or 022 491 0569

Free call: 0800 53 00 00

Email: [email protected]

Message on FB:

Chat on the webpage:

Self-referral: take the first step:

For more information about the services, visit:

Council is also committing to:

  • Advocating to Central Government for greater restrictions around the access of Class 4 gaming machines and venues as well as online gambling.
  • Looking at ways to better support Council staff and community to access information and supports for problem gambling.
  • Review of our monitoring activities, and
  • Investigating the best way to work closer with DIA who have the compliance and enforcement powers under the Act.

If this is an issue for your community and you would like to learn more, please reach out to any of the local organisations mentioned above who can provide support. You can also contact:

PGF Services NZ

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0800 664 262


You can also contact the Gambling Group at DIA here

Members of the community can also contact their local MPs, the Minister of Health, Oranga Tamariki and other members of Government to raise concerns. We acknowledge that this is not always the easiest process or pathway, but it is important communities voice their concerns directly to Central Government. Council is also remaining vocal where opportunities present to advocate for greater controls to restrict and prevent problem gambling harm for our communities.

Have Your Say

This consultation is open for submissions until 5pm 8 October 2023.

Have your say using any of the below methods:

Go online

  • The easiest way to have your say is to complete an online submission here.

Write to us

  • You can find copies of this proposal at all Porirua City libraries, at our Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court, Porirua 5022, and also on the public consultation page of our website.

    You can have your say in a number of ways:
    • Download a submission form here
    • Email your submission to: [email protected], with "Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy Review” in the subject line.
    • Hand in your submission to our Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court
    • Post your submission to:
      Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy Review
      Porirua City Council
      PO Box 50218
      Porirua City 5240
    • Give us a call

If you don’t have access to a computer, please call our contact centre on 04 237 5089 to request that a hardcopy be posted out to you.

Submissions close 8 October 2023.

The hearing will be held on 19 October 2023 (if required).

Want to know more?

If you have any questions, or would like a little more information, please email [email protected], with "Class 4 Gaming Machines and TAB Venues Policy Review” in the subject line.


To support our drive to be as transparent as possible all submissions will be publicly available but without your contact details. If you don’t want your name made public please tick “Withhold my details” on the submission form. Please note you won’t be able to withhold your name if you choose to speak at the hearing or if you are representing an organisation.