Sink­ing lid pol­icy tempts com­mit­tee


A ‘sink­ing lid’ con­di­tion on gam­ing ma­chines in the Queen­stown Lakes District is tempt­ing but will not be pur­sued - for now.

Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil is cur­rently re­view­ing its pol­icy to reg­u­late the growth and lo­ca­tion of non-casino elec­tronic gam­ing ma­chines and To­tal­isator Agency Board (TAB) gam­bling within the district.

An amend­ment to the cur­rent pol­icy to pre­vent new gam­bling venues to be es­tab­lished in res­i­den­tial zones was adopted by the coun­cil’s com­mu­nity and ser­vices com­mit­tee at a meet­ing on Wednesday. The com­mit­tee was also asked to con­sider a sink­ing lid op­tion.

The ad­di­tion of the new con­di­tion ban­ning new gam­bling venues from res­i­den­tial zones will al­low for ‘‘an el­e­ment of pro­tec­tion to ex­pand­ing res­i­den­tial ar­eas, and should not raise any con­cerns from any ex­ist­ing premises in the district, in­clud­ing the one venue that is cur­rently in a res­i­den­tial area’’, a re­port to the com­mit­tee said.

Chair­man Scott Stevens said it was not ap­pro­pri­ate for gam­ing to be spread through­out the re­gion’s res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

‘‘In the new world we live in, more sub­di­vi­sions, and the coun­cil is look­ing to en­able com­mer­cial precincts within those res­i­den­tial ar­eas - and that may or may not in­clude li­censed premises, I don’t re­ally think it is ap­pro­pri­ate for gam­ing to be spread out through our res­i­den­tial ar­eas.’’

Stevens said he was ‘‘in­trigued’’ by the sink­ing lid pol­icy, how­ever he did not think it was pos­si­ble ‘‘at this stage’’.

The coun­cil had re­quested more in­for­ma­tion about the sink­ing lid pol­icy from the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Af­fairs, how­ever the depart­ment’s re­sponse was too ‘‘vague’’, he said.

‘‘I note that pol­icy is re­viewed rea­son­ably fre­quently and that will give us the op­por­tu­nity to see the ef­fect of the res­i­den­tial ad­di­tion and po­ten­tially look at this again. I was tempted by op­tion three which was to add a sink­ing lid con­di­tion but with­out rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion I don’t think that is pos­si­ble at this stage.’’

The depart­ment es­ti­mates be­tween one quar­ter and one third of the 67 ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­i­ties na­tion­wide were op­er­at­ing a sink­ing lid pol­icy.

The re­view of the pol­icy will go out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion this month.

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