Local cash, local cause
The chairman of Mana Community Grants Foundation (MCGF) is asking people to boycott gaming machines that do not allocate funds in Porirua, but one bar owner wants the record set straight.
Last year, MCGF put $2 million back into the Porirua community through grant applications. It receives its funds from machines in The Mariner, Kelly’s Irish Pub, Sandbar Pub, The Skipping Bull and The Cabbage Tree.
MCGF chairman John Burke says they can generally distribute one dollar for every three dollars applied for, but this may not be the case for foundations based outside Porirua.
‘‘ There are other societies running other gaming lounges and they differ from us in that the money gathered goes to a variety of things outside this city.
‘‘Many have ties to horse racing clubs in Auckland, for example.’’
After the closure this year of Porirua bars The Rockz, North City Tavern and Clockwork Gold in Tawa, Mr Burke hoped new owners might align themselves with MCGF.
If not, he says, ‘‘ the time may have come for us ask the patrons of these gaming lounges to boycott those that do not distribute their proceeds locally’’.
The Rockz’ new owner, who did not want to be named, confirmed he had not signed up with MCGF, which he says ‘‘needs to learn to compete’’.
‘‘At the end of the day Mr Burke is saying this because of his own interests [in MCGF]. I’ve had an assurance [from the foundation that will put in machines at The Rockz] that all their proceeds will be distributed here. That was one big question I had for them. I don’t have time for harness-racing clubs.’’
Mr Burke says the pubs currently up for sale are a good opportunity for local people to invest and MCGF will certainly look to speak to new owners where possible about putting in their machines.
The Rockz’ new owner said he had been a Porirua resident for a number of years, and surely ‘‘local pubs being bought by local people’’ was a good thing.