Thursday May 31, 2018
MP backs rebranded gambling trust’s focus on responsibility By Jamie Adams
Rongotai MP Paul Eagle supports the refocus of a Rotorua-based gambling trust it says will now safeguard the users of pokie machines while continuing to serve the organisations that benefit from their proceeds. A new strategic direction aims to strike the right balance of benefit for local communities, with harm minimisation for gamblers, the One Foundation says. Formerly known as First Sovereign Trust, it has contributed more than $90 million to community organisations and initiatives since it was first established, including nearly $12 million in the last fi-
nancial year. At a presentation at Westpac Stadium last Thursday, the trust launched its One Foundation brand, which included the announcement of an intelligent agent for online grant applications and a stronger focus on identifying and managing harmful behaviour. This focus includes working with the Problem Gambling Foundation to ensure gamblers can better access counselling services when needed. Chief executive Kerry Bird says One Foundation is the first class 4 gaming trust in New Zealand to implement an online self-service grants system for its users. “We’ve developed a number of other online innovations, including
From left, Rongotai MP Paul Eagle, One Foundation CEO Kerry Bird and CEO Ben Sippola of Ole Football Academy, one of the trust’s many Wellington beneficiaries. PHOTO: Jamie Adams
One Bot – a chatbot which guides applicants through the online grant application process.” Kerry says One Foundation is also working closely with the Department of Internal Affairs with its ‘Choice not Chance’ resource kits to provide training and education to venue staff. “We were the first trust in New Zealand to adopt their active sweep register, where gambling rooms are observed every 30 minutes to ascertain any signs of harmful behaviour.” Paul says it is unprecedented for the Department of Internal Affairs and the Problem Gambling Foundation to join forces with a gambling trust to encourage responsible behaviour. “It is the first time I have seen a genuine attempt by a gaming machine trust to be overt in helping the users. “We are seeing less outlets and less machines as people have been concerned about the impacts.” Community organisations in the Rongotai electorate that have benefited from First Sovereign’s grants include Whanau Manaaki Kindergarten, Rongotai College, Miramar Rangers, Poneke Football Club and Miramar Tennis Club.
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Cook Strait News 31-05-18