New Zealand Problem Gambling — A History of Helping


Woodlands Trust is an audited charitable organisation primarily assisting individuals in New Zealand who are suffering from problem gambling. The Trust is funded by both the New Zealand Ministry of Health via the Problem Gambling Levy and the New Zealand Charitable Gaming Machine Sector via host responsibility harm minimisation initiatives and community group funding.

"Since I realised I had a problem gambling and contacted the Trust I have received so much support. From the first phone call to the first meeting, I knew it was run by professional people." (Client)

1999 July

The Woodlands Centre Charitable Trust (Woodlands Trust) was incorporated in New Zealand under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.

2000 April

The Trust’s first treatment programmes for gambling were initiated in Christchurch and funded entirely through the New Zealand Charitable Gaming Machine Sector as part of their continuing efforts in promoting safer gambling environments.

2001 February

The Trust initiated a treatment programme in Auckland with Wellington and (intermittently) Dunedin being serviced from mid 2001. Gambling help offered nationally.

"I provide this testimonial for the Woodlands Trust as a reference for the most helpful service they have provided to my clients. I would highly recommend the Woodlands Trust programme and have found in my dealings with the staff that they are highly competent and caring professionals." (Karen Harding, Barrister)

2004 February

The Trust secured a service agreement contract with the Problem Gambling Purchasing Agency.

2004 July

The Trust secured a service contract with the Ministry of Health via the problem gambling levy which continues to the present time servicing individuals with gambling addictions.

"Reporting to the Ministry of Health is of a high standard and, on audit, was found to be reflective of the service delivered. In addition to the use of the Ministry of Health developed "CLIC" database, Woodlands Centre Charitable Trust has developed its own database, which more comprehensively gathers and analyses statistical information relating to service delivery and individual gambling behaviours and trends."

2005 January

The Trust initiated a Harm Minimisation (Prevention) Training Programme in Problem Gambling Awareness for Class 4 Venues (Pubs and Clubs). To date the Trust has trained in excess of 1300 Class 4 Venue staff throughout New Zealand. The Trust also assisted a number of organisations in the development of organisation-specific harm minimisation policies as required by the Gambling Act 2003.

"The Standing Committee determined very early on that RNZRSA would develop a generic responsible gambling policy, able to be implemented by individual RSAs. With the most valuable assistance of Dr Vicki Fowler and Mr Bernie Smulders of the Woodlands Trust a comprehensive Policy Manual was produced. A number of RSAs have implemented the policy." (Royal New Zealand Returned & Services' Association 2006 Annual Report 90th Anniversary Commemorative Issue)

2006 March

Introduction of One-Day Educational Treatment Seminars with follow-up for Gaming Machine Gamblers.

New Zealand Problem Gambling
"Every Kiwi is Unique"
New Zealand Problem Gambling

"Woodlands Trust offers help to New Zealanders facing issues of problem gambling."