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.

"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 – December 2017

The Trust secured a service contract with the Ministry of Health New Zealand via the problem gambling levy in 2004 which continued until the 31/12/2017. Unfortunately the Board of Woodlands Trust and the Ministry of Health New Zealand could not agree to new terms and conditions moving forwards. Woodlands Trust is very pleased to have successfully treated thousands of New Zealand Clients and Family/Affected/Others and in particular, to have gained such therapeutically effective results for Māori and Pasifika populations experiencing gambling-related harm.

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."