The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Caversham application fails

The Gambling Commission has rejected Caversham Foundation’s claim that the Secretary for Internal Affairs failed to act in good faith, or engaged in procedural misconduct, in deciding not to renew Caversham’s gaming machine operator’s licence.

The Commission said the Foundation’s application for costs of $37,500 against the Department was “misconceived”. The Commission said it does not normally award costs but might do so if processes were abused.

“There is nothing to indicate that the Secretary conducted himself before the Commission in a way which would justify an award of costs against him,” the Commission said in its decision.

Earlier this year after the Foundation established its financial viability the Department granted Caversham a six-month operating licence with reporting conditions. Caversham appealed the conditions to the Commission and Foundation chairman, Dr Wayne Morris told the Otago Daily Times (October 17 2008) the Department was “out of control” and had been unfair. But last month Caversham elected to withdraw that appeal.

Internal Affairs Gambling Compliance Director, Mike Hill, welcomed the Commission’s decision to reject the costs application.

“We work to be fair and objective in enforcing the Gambling Act and we had good grounds for originally refusing to renew Caversham’s licence,” Mike Hill said. “After Caversham’s financial position changed we issued it with a conditional licence to 31 March 2009 and will reassess its performance after closely monitoring its cash flow management and compliance with the Gambling Act.

“A gambling operator’s licence is a privilege, not a right, and gambling operators must meet high standards to justify remaining operational.”

Media contact:
Mike Hill, Director of Gambling Compliance, Department of Internal Affairs,
ph 04 495 9449; cell 021 979 427
Trevor Henry, communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679