Councillor Sue Glen was irate over pokie machines being given a "positive economic and social benefit" spin in a Whangarei District Council proposal to review local gambling regulations.
"This really annoys me," she said as the council this week discussed a 99-page agenda item about the proposed review before voting to seek public submissions which will be heard before any changes to the rules are considered next year.
She had just read that pokies had a positive effect by generating commerce in the district and funding a large number of sporting and community groups.
"The next few lines are about people suffering from gambling addiction and the cost of problem gambling intervention services," she said, reminding councillors of "absolute horror stories" about pokie machines in the past.
However, Councillor Shelley Deeming said said the review proposal was a consultation document and she suggested councillors should not be airing their opinions about pokies at this point. "We are waiting for the public's opinion," she said.
Councillor Kahu Sutherland said councillors needed to be mindful they would be hearing submissions from community groups.
"We need to consider all the facts and make our decisions accordingly," he said.
There are currently 313 pokie machines operating at 23 venues in the Whangarei district.
The proposed policy caps the number of machines at 335, which is the same number that can be operated under the existing "sinking lid" policy.
Public submissions on the proposal, which contains information about the social impact of pokie machine and TAB gambling in the district, are open until December 7.