A Mana Party election candidate is vowing to get rid of pokie machines in the Manukau East electorate if he wins the seat.
John Minto says he’s spoken at many meetings and so far only two people have said they want them to stay.
Local communities would be able to make the decision «but with the feedback I’ve had so far Manukau East would be a pokie-free zone by Christmas», he said on Tuesday.
Mr Minto says half the pokies in the electorate are in the poorest areas and low-income people are targeted by machines designed for addiction.
«This exploitation of vulnerable people is despicable,» he said.
«If the new Government doesn’t give the community the power to get rid of these machines then Mana will discuss other means, including civil disobedience, to get them out.»
Mr Minto said each machine took an average $50,000 net a year.
«This is wholesale theft from the poor which is siphoned off to the likes of horse racing clubs for the wealthy – the end of the pokie scourge is in sight.»