Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Drugs & Gambling – NZ’s 21st Century Growth Industries?

Drugs & Gambling – NZ’s 21st Century Growth Industries?



National’s constant mantra has been that any economic recovery and job creation will be a matter best left to the market to achieve. As a neo-liberal, free-market focused Party, National  believes that the State’s role in economic growth is minimal.  National’s job boosting policies have been half-hearted at best.

Despite National’s best attempts to paint our poor economic performance in a positive light, there is a continuing pessimism regarding any possible recovery, growth, and job creation,


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An economic growth of 1.4% is not something that instills confidence in National’s governance,


Source & Full Story


Minister of Finance, Bill English tried to “talk up” the gloomy state of our economy,

The economy has now grown in 10 of the past 11 quarters, since emerging from the recession which started in New Zealand in early 2008,” said English said.

The December quarter was challenging, as the economy continued to rebalance, with households saving a bit more and being careful with their spending. In addition, conditions were tough around the world, particularly in Europe

The rebuilding of Christchurch will help drive domestic activity and our two largest trading partners, Australia and China, are forecast to maintain relatively high growth rates. In addition, our terms of trade will remain elevated on the back of demand for our major export commodities from emerging markets.”

NZ Herald

Reliance on “the rebuilding of Christchurch [to] help drive domestic activity” sounds familiar. Where else have we heard such unbounded, vacant optimism,

“From a New Zealand government point of view, we are hugely supportive of the tournament because we know it will be hugely successful,” Key told dignitaries from local government, the International Rugby Board (IRB), and the business community. 

“A rough estimate has estimated the economic impact is worth about $1.25 billion to New Zealand. This is a big event for New Zealand and a big boost for our economy.”  “

John Key, 30 March 2010

National’s “hands-off” ideology eventually has consequences.

What we got, in reality, was this,


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Which then raises the questions as to what else National is doing to grow the economy and create jobs. The answer is depressing.

It appears that National’s plans for boosting job growth involves he promotion of what many would describe as “vices”,


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Promoting gambling and a lethal drug – is this National’s Grand Plan for growing our economy?!

This isn’t just tragic, with the consequential social and health side-effects –  it’s downright vile and sickening. In effect, National is reliant on social vices that cause untold damage to families; impact on mental health;  and harming  peoples’ health.

National’s “negotiations” with Sky City, to boost gaming machines (“pokies”), like it’s dirty little deal with Warner Bros,  is selling Societal Good for short term economic gain. As Green MP Kevin Hague said bluntly,

John Key is setting up people with gambling addictions, and their families and communities, to foot the bill for the new Auckland Convention Centre, said the Green Party today.

I predict that the ‘behind closed doors’ negotiations between the Government and Sky City will find ways of allowing Sky City to extract more profit from the New Zealand public without needing to change the law, thereby entirely shutting the public out from having a say.

The extraordinary hardship and suffering caused by the gambling industry in New Zealand should see the Government trying to find ways of reducing the size and reach of the industry, not cosying up to it and making the regulatory framework looser.”

Personally, I would describe it even more bluntly; National is prostituting this country for economic activity that they have no other way of achieving. Their unflinching adherence to free market dogma blinds them to alternatives and to more productive options for economic growth and job creation.

What next – encouraging huge mega-complexes for brothels?

Tax breaks for liquor companies to build more breweries/distilleries?

Is this the “Bright Future” that John Key promised us, last year? Is this where the “More Real Jobs” that he pledged are coming from; gambling and cigarettes?



God help us if our future and economic wellbeing is reliant on other peoples’ misery.


* * *



Govt folds for SkyCity

Green Party: Gambling Policy Summary

Tumeke: Sky City to gain $25 million from 350 more pokies in dirty deal with Government

NZ Herald: Axe tobacco, ban cigarette exports – health professor

NZ Herald: ‘Big Tobacco’ on trial  – Canada’s biggest-ever lawsuit

NZ Herald: Government gets big bucks for bad habits

Scoop.co.nz:  Tourists Come to See Country & Culture – Not Casinos



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  1. TP
    3 April 2012 at 7:38 am

    Maybe the Nats haven’t got the imagination for any other way to grow the economy? You’d think that the Christchurch rebuild would’ve pointed the way.

    Drugs, booze, and gambling? Becoming the Las Vegas of the Sth Pacific is not what I had in mind for our country’s future.

  1. 3 April 2012 at 8:35 pm
  2. 4 April 2012 at 5:46 pm
  3. 9 January 2013 at 5:43 pm

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