Regional Workshops: successful pilot and future plans

The Department’s regional workshop pilot has come to an end. Starting in Napier on February 7 and finishing in Whangarei on March 6, staff from the Department and the Health Promotion Agency (who worked with the Department to create these workshops) engaged with around 370 people from clubs, venues, societies, and service providers. Following the feedback we received from the pilot we intend to continue hosting events in regions outside of New Zealand’s main centres throughout the year.

The content covered at these sessions included information on the refreshed venue assessments and advice on how to approach people displaying harm. We heard from attendees that the information presented was relevant and useful, and in a survey sent out following the sessions 100 per cent of respondents said they would recommend the workshop to others in the gambling system. We would like to take this opportunity to thank attendees for taking the time to meet and engage with us, and for providing their feedback after the events. This has helped us to decide how to run similar workshops in future.

We found that these workshops provided the opportunity for connection between the Department and others in the gambling system as a whole. Attendees from pubs, clubs, societies, and service providers were able to discuss their roles and perspectives on the gambling system. This was a valuable opportunity for people to find ways to support each other in creating a better and safer gambling environment. The Department, HPA and problem gambling service providers have all had several requests for further materials and assistance as a result of these workshops.

We will provide updates on future dates and locations in Gambits. If you feel your area would benefit from a workshop, or if you have any comments about what content we should include, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do registered charities need to provide audited accounts for grant applications?

The Charities Services group has raised a concern that many gaming machine societies are requiring registered charities to provide audited accounts when they make grant applications. Under section 42c of the Charities Act (2005), charities that have an annual expenditure of $500,000 or less do not have to have their accounts audited (unless their own rules document requires them to). If societies require them to provide audited accounts, then the societies are imposing an audit cost that the charity wouldn’t otherwise have to pay. This effectively adds a cost of application and reduces the value of any grant received.

Registered charities are monitored by Charities Services and are required to lodge annual returns, or financial statements, depending on their expenditure.  Societies must make their own decisions around due diligence for grant applicants.   We would encourage a risk-based approach by only requesting registered charities to compile audited financial statements for the sole purpose of applying for Class 4 grants if absolutely necessary. You can search for registered charities and see their latest performance reports or financial statements on the charities register here.

Three year licences come to class 4

The Gambling Act was amended in 2015, to allow class 4 licences to be granted for up to three years. The intention is for longer licences to act as an incentive for best practice and compliance among societies and venues.

The Department has worked with representatives of the class 4 sector to develop  a voluntary three year licence process that encourages continuous improvement. We particularly want to express our appreciation to members of the Sector Technical Reference Group, whose time and commitment was a major contribution to the development of the framework.

The cornerstone of the three year licence application process is self-assessment. Societies and clubs are asked to take a genuine look at their organisation and rate their performance on a four point scale, across five categories; Leadership and Direction; Minimising Harm; Maximising Benefit; Engagement; and Risk and Financial Management.

While the Department currently holds a lot of information about class 4 operations, organisations themselves are in the best position to demonstrate how they achieve the three year licensing standards. Applicants are therefore asked to demonstrate that they:

  • Have effective systems and practices in place, which reflect the size and structure of their organisation;
  • Have systems to monitor how well practices are working and to identify areas for improvement;
  • Conduct regular reviews of policies and systems; and
  • Make improvements as a result of those reviews.

Applications can only be made when a licence is due for renewal. Those organisations who have licences due for renewal on 30 June will be the first to be able to apply for a three year licence.

The three year licence process provides an incentive and framework for continued improvement, and offers potential benefits for societies, such as:

  • Reputational value from supporting and demonstrating strong practice;
  • Increasing the collaborative relationships between societies, clubs, venues, service providers and the Department;
  • Easing the administrative burden;
  • Allowing for longer-term planning; and
  • Possible cost savings.

Members of the class 4 sector will value each of these benefits differently when deciding whether to apply. We expect that only class 4 operators whose self-assessment shows they are demonstrating best practice will apply. Societies and clubs who  decide against applying for a three year licence are still encouraged to embrace the idea of continuous improvement, and use the framework to review their policies and practices.

Information about the three year licence process, including guidance material, application templates and copies of the Inspectors’ assessment template, are available on the Department’s website.

Venue Manager assessment - GC5 forms

Part of the process of employing a new venue manager includes assessing whether the applicant has the appropriate experience and training in the industry. The Department has recently received a number of GC5 forms where the sections relating to class 4 experience (Questions C1-C3) have been left blank.

It is important that these questions are completed, even if the venue manager has no prior experience or training.  In these cases, it is the Department’s expectation that the society includes information about what training has been provided to the venue manager, as part of a GC4 or G3 application.  Any other steps the society has taken to ensure the venue manger is aware of their responsibilities and is capable of undertaking them should also be included with the application.

Gambling license renewal applications

Many clubs and some societies are due to submit their class 4 gambling licence renewal applications.  We would like to remind you to please check that your financial statements comply with the relevant reporting standards. We have had special purpose accounts submitted by some clubs, when Tier 3 GAAP accounts should have been used instead.

The Charities Services website is a useful resource for determining the applicable reporting standards for your entity.

(SOURCE: Department of Internal Affairs, Gambits:NOW, 11 April 2018)