Pokies OK, says council

00:00, Nov 20 2012

Nine gambling machines installed at the newly opened Hangar 58 restaurant and cafe in Nelson is above board and does not exceed thresholds of the number of machines allowed, the city council says.

The machines are now operating after nine pokie machines were disabled in August and later removed from Brewers Bar in Victory Square, after an appeal to keep them there was denied. The controversy was linked to their location.

Last year the Nelson Gambling Taskforce went to the High Court and won a ruling that the council erred in the way it changed its gambling policy to allow the machines back into the area.

City council community development manager Kath Inwood said Hangar 58 applied to the council for consent to install nine class four gambling machines.

The application met all the conditions required, she said.

"The total number of gaming machines currently permitted to operate in Nelson is still below the lower cap that was proposed in the 2010 policy."

Hangar 58 co-owner and operator Josh Combes referred a question about charities or trusts the venue supported to the Lion Foundation.

The foundation's general manager operations Nigel Murray-Brown said its policy was to return between 80 and 90 per cent of funds back to the community of origin, with the balance given to national causes such as Coastguard, Plunket and St John.


The Nelson Mail