PGF loses contract to Salvation Army

March 21st, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Government funding for the Problem Foundation has been scrapped, the organisation confirmed today amid rumours the service would be shut-down because it opposes National’s SkyCity convention centre deal.

The foundation issued a statement saying it had been informed by the Ministry of Health that from June 30 it would no longer be contracted for the bulk of its current services.

“While the ministry describes PGF as a valued provider of quality services it has told PGF it has a superior offer for the clinical and public health services PGF provides,” the foundation said.

The announcement came after Labour MP Trevor Mallard said he believed the foundation would be axed due to its stance against the SkyCity convention centre deal.

The PGF had “made themselves particularly unpopular with the Government and with the Ministry of Health”, Mr Mallard said last night.

First of all, the decision was not made by Government Ministers, but by the Ministry of Health. They are not reducing the amount they spend on helping problem gamblers – just another organisation or organisations put in a better bid for the funds. If more problem gamblers will be successfully assisted, this is a good thing.

The PGF seems to spend much of its times as a taxpayer funded lobby group, rather than actually helping problem gamblers. It is constitutionally outrageous for groups to be provided with taxpayer dollars so they can then lobby MPs and media on what they think government policy should be.

I’m all for lobby groups advocating for the views of their members. But lobby groups should be funded by their members and supporters, not by the taxpayers.

I support the taxpayer funding public health groups that mainly focus on assistance, not politics. Hence I support taxpayer funding of Quitline, but not of ASH (a lobby group). For gambling I support funding of organisations such as the Salvation Army that provide great assistance to problem gamblers. The Problem Gambling Foundation however spends a great proportion of its time on lobbying and media activity. Their website is all about how to get involved with campaigns to local councils or setting up local action groups. All fine activities, so long as the taxpayer isn’t paying for them – which we have been.

There is a line between groups that do occasional advocacy on issues of importance to them and groups mainly focused on advocacy. Again, the Salvation Army often submit on issues of gambling, alcohol etc. But they don’t make it the major focus of what they do. The Problem Gambling Foundation thought its role was more to lobby for policy it likes, than to provide support services for problem gamblers. Hence it is little surprise that another support group make a stronger case to the Ministry of Health that it would provide better services to problem gamblers than the Problem Gambling Foundation.

UPDATE: The organisation that has won the funding bid is the Salvation Army:

“The Ministry of Health has said it has received a ‘superior contract bid’ but as the foundation is the largest provider of problem gambling services in Australasia, it is hard to imagine a more qualified organisation to do this work.”

However, a spokesman from Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne’s office confirmed today that the other organisation was the Salvation Army.

The spokesman said the Salvation Army bid for the contract was more efficient, and offered more services and value for money.

Now the Salvation Army also opposed the Sky City deal, so suggesting the change in provider is because of the PGF’s opposition is misplaced. Basically they put in a better bid. I’m not surprised it was a better bid, because their primary focus is on helping problem gamblers, not lobbying. I understand the Ministry’s decision that the Salvation Army had the better bid was independently reviewed by PWC.

UPDATE2: Also worth thinking about how the PGF has reacted to the news they lost the tender. They immediately contact Trevor Mallard (no doubt through their public health manager who is a Labour Party candidate) and claim it was due to their opposition to Sky City. There are dozens of organisations out there who lose tenders when better bids are put in. Most don’t go running to Trevor Mallard to try and turn it into a political story. The fact they did so, shows how deeply political they had become.

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88 Responses to “PGF loses contract to Salvation Army”

  1. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    I’ve also just blogged on this. Mallard’s indecent haste to leap in and kick the Government while telling only half the story is almost as large a lapse of judgment as his visit to SkyCity’s corporate box at Eden Park a couple of winters ago. There’s enough egg on his face to make omelettes for all the hungry people in Hutt South.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/egg-meet-face.html

    It could of course have been worse. Labour could have got its Wairarapa candidate, TAB bookie Kieran McAnulty to comment on the issue :D

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  2. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    “The Ministry of Health has said it has received a ‘superior contract bid’ but as the foundation is the largest provider of problem gambling services in Australasia, it is hard to imagine a more qualified organisation to do this work.”

    That tells me pretty much all I need to know about their institutionalised sense of entitlement to a perpetual govt funding stream.

    In the real world where you have to compete for business with the other guy, and the other other guy, things happen all the time that you might think are “hard to imagine”… but yet they do happen. Get over it. Look after your other customers better to make sure you don’t get a repeat of this.

    Oh wait, you don’t have any other customers, that sucks.

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  3. Komata (1,111 comments) says:

    Having just heard Mr. Mallard on Radio Red’s’ 1200 news, my reaction has to be, ‘Oh Trevor, please, are you THAT desperate for votes?

    Quite honestly, Mallard sounded pathetic and desperate, looking for something , ANYTHING that could be used against the government. Should we be surprised that the gweens are also bleating? (Birds of a Feather?)

    Notably (but then, perhaps unsurprisingly), Mr. Mallard’s comment was the only one on the subject, with no comment from the Salvation Army. Equality of Reporting? Tui moment methinks

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  4. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    The criticism is not misplaced. Whilst the Salvation Army opposed the deal, they traditionally refrain from entering into any political debate, especially in a public manner. Their workers and contractors are forbidden from making political statements.

    The PGF on the other hand regarding advocating for their clients, even if it means entering the political debate – as part of their role. In fact, it is documented as part of their responsibilities.

    Clearly the government does not want an organisation that is up-front and in their face. They prefer someone that just offers the services and doesn’t take a very active role in actually diminishing the harm via policy and legislation.

    You can paint this any way you like, but knowing the figures involved, the reason one organisation was selected over the other, is glaringly obvious.

    This is just more pampering to big business – the hospitality industry and giving the finger to those who are actually harmed by it IMO. Whilst the Sallies do wonderful work, what they offer is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ and a united and combined approach is far more beneficial if we are to decrease the harm caused by problem gambling.

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  5. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    They must have been busy on the phone to all their friends.
    The Green party have been equally silly, rushing out a press release on the same topic.

    Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | Press Release “The Government cut to funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation must be seen as payback for its opposition to the SkyCity deal,” Ms Roche said.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/21/problem-gambling-foundation-persecuted-by-national-for-skycity-stance/#sthash.pqnp4meO.dpuf

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  6. lazza (358 comments) says:

    Slim Dave (presently of the Milford track) as usual … puts it like it is …

    “It is constitutionally outrageous for groups to be provided with taxpayer dollars so they can then lobby MPs and media on what they think government policy should be.

    I’m all for lobby groups advocating for the views of their members. But lobby groups should be funded by their members and supporters, not by the taxpayers.

    I support the taxpayer funding public health groups that mainly focus on assistance, not politics”.

    This is “The Nut”. “Advocacy” a’ la the PGF MO … is not “Helping”.

    Dear ol Grahame R at the PGF could have seen this coming if his strategising (with the long term sustainability/survival of his organisation) had been assessed properly.

    And how the hell does a little cell of originally about a dozen people grow to staff numbers of over 60.

    Smells like a gravy train to moi … Oh Well no loss … the Sallies (as usual) will do a better job now … by “really” helping.

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  7. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    Judith said

    The criticism is not misplaced. Whilst the Salvation Army opposed the deal, they traditionally refrain from entering into any political debate, especially in a public manner. Their workers and contractors are forbidden from making political statements.

    So you’ve missed the manner in which the Sallies’ Social Policy Unit has been stoking the embers of the child poverty debate then Judith? Funny that…

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  8. anticorruptionnz (166 comments) says:

    the salvation army is already up to its neck in deals with central and local government through New Zealand Housing Foundation .

    Major Campbell Roberts National Director The Salvation Army is on the committee for Auckland who are all looking after each other (http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership/member-organisations)

    Government wants the sky city deal so does Len Brown

    I small another conflict of interest They realize that Problem Gambling is too much of a hard line and they have gone for a soft option of the Salvos Major Campbell already runs with the big boys and in my opinion has already sold his soul.

    ‘Campbell Roberts is the founder and Director of the Salvation Army’s Social Policy Research and Parliamentary Affairs Unit’

    The move is not really surprising.. its about keeping up appearances and staying in control

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  9. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    is Trev retiring this year?

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  10. J Bloggs (159 comments) says:

    Of course the Sallies can offer the MoH a better deal, as they can cross-subsidise it from all their other money making activities, until the PGF is gone. This is just a move by one organisation to eliminate a rival for govt. funding.

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  11. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (9,695 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    They advocate to raise awareness of the issue, just as they do with PG – they do not lobby against government initiatives – there is a difference you know.

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  12. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    alwyn (12.11pm): Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | Press Release “The Government cut to funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation must be seen as payback for its opposition to the SkyCity deal,” Ms Roche said.

    Pity Ms Roche didn’t mention in her ‘Press Release’ that her partner is a former CEO of….. the Problem Gambling Foundation and her support of the PGF and her criticism of the move to award the contract to another provider, could be seen to be biased.

    Funny that.

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  13. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Counseling with a helping of religion, peachy.
    /

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  14. mjw (227 comments) says:

    I disagree that taxpayer funding means they should keep silent. We need policy contestability, and something to balance all of Sky city’s hospitality and lobbying. Besides, if you are worried about taxpayer funding, why did the government sell a 35 year monopoly to Sky city?

    For that matter, what kind of right wing government sells monopolies in the first place?

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  15. doggone7 (702 comments) says:

    Judith

    What you mean is: The Government wants an agency at the bottom of the cliff to be the ambulance. They do not want people intruding at the top of the cliff telling them they’re making it easy for people to throw themselves off and actually helping people throw themselves off. The Salvation Army’s role is to simply deal with the victims.

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  16. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ doggone7 (440 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Yes that sums it up nicely, but I’m not as articulate as you. Thank you

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  17. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    Funding from the Ministry of Health is specifically for clinical and health services, not advocacy/lobbying. On the premise that PGF wasn’t using MoH funding for purposes other than they were intended, I see no reason they can’t continue their political activity, just without taxpayers funding it.
    And the bottom line is the Salvation Army having been helping people deal with addiction since 1865. This is great news for problem gamblers.

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  18. peterwn (3,163 comments) says:

    It seems that PGF and/ or its staff may have broken an embargo by contacting Trevor Mallard with indecent haste. And in doing so both walked right into a trap of their making. Trevor should have held his tongue until the successful bidder was announced.

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  19. Jack5 (4,591 comments) says:

    The Sallies will do a good job.

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  20. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,226 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Much of the funding originates from the levy removed from gambling profits – it is not taken directly from the health budget, and YES, it does, or at least did (presuming the govt has changed the relevant policy) require a component of advocacy and lobbying.

    The TAX payer does NOT fund it. The gamblers do – approximately 1/3 of every dollar that goes into a pokie machine is taken in tax/levies. (There is a particular levy that deals specifically with Problem Gambling) Approximately one third is taken by the gaming industry and the other is returned the community.

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  21. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Jack5 (4,128 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Yes, the Sallies have always done a good job, and I’m not knocking their service or abilities, BUT the nature and purpose of the organisation means they cannot do the job 100% to what is required if we are to get on top of a harmful issue, that costs all of us a great deal of money when it starts causing social harm in the way of crimes, requirements for welfare and so on.

    The best way to attack harmful practices is through policy and to do that you have to be prepared to take on and critique any government that is assisting in worsening or not doing anything about the problem.

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  22. Cunningham (817 comments) says:

    I get so sick of these organisations who think the world owes them a living. FFS if you are not as good as another organisation that is competing for the same work then you deserve to lose out. It is just the way it is and should be. How are we supposed to run an efficient public services any other way?

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  23. questions (168 comments) says:

    DPF, what they chose to do with their private funding (advocacy etc) is between them and the person who makes the donation.

    To take contracts off groups or companies because they criticize the govt/refuse to worship Key is incredibly cynical and sets a bad precedent.

    Tell us now, if Labour were to do the same, what would you be saying?

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  24. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Cunningham (720 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    But they are as good, and have operated just as efficiently and frugally as the Sallies. In the past both orgs have worked together on the problem. The ONLY difference (apart from the religious component) between the two organisations is that one is prepared to challenge harmful policy by directly lobbying against it where it is constructed – i.e. against the government of the day, and the other, will NOT do that.

    Therefore – unless the govt has selected the Sallies for religious reasons, it is pretty bloody obvious that Mallard (god save us) is right on this one.

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  25. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    Before anyone starts on that this is a National issue. The PGF lobbied heavily against Helen and the Labour Government when the Gambling Bill was introduced too and critiqued them heavily for their lack of action.

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  26. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    “the Salvation Army bid for the contract was more efficient, and offered more services and value for money.”

    And that’s how a tender works people.

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  27. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    Yeah RN, that’s what they are telling you! I notice they don’t clarify ‘more efficient for whom’ though?

    I see Peter Dunne has jumped in on the act. He is the last person who should be involved. His relationship with the gaming industry is a real legend. He’s cruising really really close to the wind to involve himself in this. One only has to look at his historical involvement.

    Perhaps I need to start sending some old emails to media! How about that Peter? ;-)

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  28. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    @Judith: The fact you have posted 8 comments out of the first 27 suggests you could have an axe to grind….

    Just saying….. :P

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  29. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    I can’t work out the point of DPF’s OP. Is he confirming that PGF lost its contract because it was critical of Government policy?

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  30. Bill Ted (80 comments) says:

    I’m just going to be blunt. I have worked with two people (family member and a close friend) to get help for their pokies addictions in the past few years. The PGF were a complete waste of space. Basically they just offer a cup of tea and a pat on the back, tell you to talk it out and send you home again. I’m not saying the Sallies will do better, because I don’t know. But if this funding is for counselling services etc (rather than lobbying), then I applaud the MoH for attempting to find a better provider. My personal view is that only family and friends can put an end to problem gambling, but I recognise that some gamblers have no one in their lives who care enough to stop them.

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  31. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee

    or it could say that this is a social problem that I am very concerned about. I have seen and witnessed in a professional capacity the way problem gambling can destroy the lives of not just the gambler directly, but entire families, businesses and even communities. So yes, I am passionate about it. I’m not a cold hard bitch that likes to see people or the community suffer, like some.

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  32. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    @Judith, I know the Salvation Army well, they do incredible social work, and have a huge amount of experience in addiction treatment. Your insinuation that they will do anything less than a superb job is nothing but sour grapes.

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  33. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Bill Ted (56 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    My personal view is that only family and friends can put an end to problem gambling

    Statistics actually don’t support that at all. The vast majority of problem gamblers report their family and friends have tried to help, and the only change has been a deterioration in the relationship.

    Different things work for different people – for females, evidence shows that it is not until they risk losing their children that take positive measures to stop. Men, on the other hand seem to be able to lose their home, family and many things, but once they lose their closest friends, then they take positives steps. And that is only statistically, different things work for different people.

    Regarding your comment about a cup of tea – I have a feeling that someone isn’t telling you the complete story there. I know both the Salvation Army and the PGF treatment plans, and NEITHER of them offer such means of receiving help where it is wanted.

    Both organisation will on their first visit provide tea/coffee and ask the person to talk about their issues. From there if the person decides to get assistance they are sent for assessment, and from there a course of action is decided. It sounds to me like the people you know have not bothered to go further with the process. Very many people come to only one visit to please the ‘missus or hubby’ and fail to go further – until their lives are such a mess they have to.

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  34. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,228 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Bullshit – where have I stated that the Salvation Army offers an inferior service when it comes to dealing with problem gamblers on a personal basis?

    My criticism of them, and its not really them but rather pointing out what they don’t and can’t offer, is that they are not allowed lobby politically, whereas PGF can. And making the point that lobbying and pointing out to the government of the day is very important in assisting problem gamblers. This problem needs a united approach, one cannot work without the other.

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  35. emmess (1,371 comments) says:

    The Problem Gambling Foundation gambled on entering the political arena and lost big time
    Let that be a lesson to them, gambling is not without costs

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  36. tvb (4,208 comments) says:

    The public sector is honeycombed with Labour Party activists who get involved in the political process. They stretch the tolerance of the Government when these activists try to embarrass the Government. It even found its way into a Maori Broadcasting Unit in TVNZ placing their statutory obligation to be fair and balanced at risk. The PGA could see replacement funding from trade union groups. But of course they are the sort of people who get all their money from the Government. they find it easy and they are skilful at getting this money.

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  37. Ed Snack (1,738 comments) says:

    On your basis Judith, the Governemnt actually doesn’t fund anything at all. We, the Taxpayer, do.

    It must be galling to gamblers, to see a proportion of their potential winnings being directed to a group of people who want to stop them gambling. Which is of course a lie, the PGF actually has zero interest in suppressing gambling, their sole interest, as shown by this bit of petulance, it to keep the gravy train of “other peoples money” flowing freely so they can occupy their high moral position with real class. They don’t want to have an impact, they want to seen to be trying to have an impact, which is not the same thing.

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  38. shoreboy57 (131 comments) says:

    May the PGF be the first of many

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  39. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Ed Snack (1,475 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    No Ed, ‘we the tax payer’ don’t fund it. The gamblers fund it – as you say, it is taken from the levies from gambling profits.

    However, the tax payer ultimately pays for the damage when it imprisons problem gamblers for fraud, theft, violence and other such things, and the families need to receive welfare, housing etc when all the money has gone into pokies or on the horses etc.

    PGF, like all such funded organisations has targets they must reach, therefore they must be seen to be effective in their role. I know for a fact that they have met those targets so that is not the problem.

    They can only have an impact at changing legislation that is harmful if they are allowed to do that. The Salvation Army isn’t, so effectively this decision will quell any opposition, by quietening the voice of those who deal at the coalface, and know most about what is happening. Try applying that to an industry model – perhaps to OSH and see how it would go.

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  40. Harriet (4,521 comments) says:

    Mallard is bloody weak Minister and probably a hypocrat:

    All sexual health related matters have to be privatised also.

    Unlike smokers, drinkers, gamblers, and yes drivers, who all pay higher taxes for the ‘health risks’ that they take – the hyper-sexuals don’t pay anything at all.
    These youngish people use sexual disease clinics, medicines, surgery ect which is then all billed to the taxpayer. Then as soon as they go out the door of the public health service providers – they head straight to the hairdressers, manicurists, health spa, breast surgeon or facial surgeon, and then after going back to their promiscious ways – they head back to the health services for more ‘free healthcare’. All on the taxpayer. Some people do this for decades!

    Some women even recieve pre-natal healthcare, only to go ahead later and abort the baby for no physical reason – courtesy of the taxpayer. Well nurses, doctors ect who are PUBLICLY FUNDED have better things to do.

    Meanwhile other people – like cancer patients – are then told by MALLARD that the ‘public health system’ cannot afford their expensive US medicines. Some are also children who miss out on services and treatment.

    NZ should not have 2nd tier health services for the amount that is spent on health.

    Since the government cannot impose a ‘bedroom tax’ like they do with smokes or alcohol, then the only option is to treat sexual related healthcare like dentistry. You pay as you go!!!!

    And why not – suburban mothers may soon have to pay ‘fat and suger tax’ if healthcare ‘professionals’ get there way!

    The tax payer should not have to pay for services to those who are irresponsable with their sexual health.

    In other words:

    Mr Mallard is of the National LGBT faction – the H’s – National Ministers who do Half-assed jobs! :cool:

    Give your party votes to the Conservatives – the gays are thinking of voting for ACT – the so-called FISCAL CONSERVATIVES – LOL! :cool:

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  41. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    “they are not allowed lobby politically, whereas PGF can.”

    And PGF still can, they just need to fund it some other way. Passionate people like yourself could offer to help.

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  42. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ emmess (1,298 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Wrong – PGF did not gamble on anything. IT was within their contract to lobby and advocate and to advise on issues concerning problem gambling and the community. They did what their contact asked for, but the government no longer wants to hear about the harm. Blinkers and all that allow for much more ‘profit’ and bugger who gets hurt.

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  43. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    Mallard is bloody weak Minister and probably a hypocrat:

    Mallard is not a Minister.

    Also the word you are looking for is hypocrite.
    I don’t understand how even an Australian could think there’s an A in it.

    Are you dog ugly? Your loathing of young beautiful people who actually go out and get laid sounds like the jealousy of a dog ugly person. :cool:

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  44. edhunter (497 comments) says:

    I don’t for a second deny there are problem gamblers, problem drinkers, problem druggies etc but why must all solutions be blanket solutions (ideally bans or excessive taxation) why can’t they be targetted solutions?
    I’d rather have ambulances at the bottom as opposed to 10 foot high brick walls at the top.

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  45. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,229 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    PGF, like most such organisations cannot operate without money. However the people, those will the expertise will just move to the Salvation Army. There is only a small set of people in this country that are effective in dealing with PG. They will not be without work, at least until the government finds a way of pretending PG doesn’t exist or changes the legislation so that it no longer levies to fund the harm caused by it.

    The government has effectively silenced the voice of anyone that works, or is negatively affected by problem gambling. They can treat, but they can’t speak. The legislation requires advocacy, but since when did this government listen to anyone but their own voices?

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  46. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    @Judith…. It hasn’t taken a lot of effort to join the remaining dots. And, in order that I can watch you dig yourself deeper and deeper into the hole, I’ll just leave it at that.

    But, as someone familiar with the industry, I welcome the news the Sallies will be taking over the provision of this service.

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  47. Harriet (4,521 comments) says:

    Apologies to Mr Mallard.

    Anyway, whoever the fuck is the Health Minister back in NZ is doing a half-assed job of sexual healthcare – they encourage it!

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  48. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee (3,927 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Yeah sure Elaycee, different day, same threats – don’t you ever get sick of repeating yourself?

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  49. SGA (813 comments) says:

    Harriet at 1:24 pm

    In other words:
    Mr Mallard is of the National LGBT faction – the H’s – National Ministers who do Half-assed jobs

    Damn. I really am having trouble keeping up with the whirlwind that is NZ politics.

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  50. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    @Judith, you keep saying stuff like “IT was within their contract to lobby and advocate” and “The legislation requires advocacy” but I find no evidence to support this.
    I’ve looked at PGF website and MoH website but nothing supports your assertion.
    This Three Year Service plan seems to contradict your claim, for example:
    http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/preventing-minimising-gambling-harm-three-year-service-plan-levy-rates-may13.pdf

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  51. Harriet (4,521 comments) says:

    “…..Are you dog ugly? Your loathing of young beautiful people who actually go out and get laid sounds like the jealousy of a dog ugly person….”

    No. I’m just saying that the hyper-sexuals bill all the costs of their irresponsable sexual habits up to the taxpayer – and then spend their own money on leg waxes – massages – new teeth -breast enlargement….

    ……and in your case RRM…….penis enlargement! :cool:

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  52. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,230 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    You need to look at the legislation.

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  53. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    No Judith, I don’t need to look at the legislation to see what is covered by the specific contracting of services to the Ministry of Health.

    1.6 Existing and new services
    As indicated in Tables 1 and 2 above, the Ministry’s four expenditure areas in the area
    of problem gambling are:
    • public health services
    • intervention services
    • research and evaluation
    • Ministry operating costs

    See that’s the rub. PGF were not being contracted by the MoH to do any lobbying or advocacy. It is clear from MoH that it wasn’t in their remit.

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  54. lazza (358 comments) says:

    “Hey Jude” … (Judith).

    “Methinks the wench doth protest too much!”

    How many posts does that make it? … on this blog today, (a dozen?).

    You should get out more often …

    Get a life sorta thing …

    Me too …?

    Just musing … LOL

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  55. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ rightnow

    You say you cannot find anything in that document you found – and yet within the first couple of pages it states the following objectives – both of which address the need for lobbying and advocacy – these objectives are related to reducing gambling harm, and are not tied to dealing with individual problem gamblers, which are addressed in other objectives.

    Objective 4: Healthy policy at the national, regional and local level prevents and
    minimises gambling harm.

    • Objective 5: Government, the gambling industry, communities, families/whānau
    and individuals understand and acknowledge the range of harms from gambling that
    affect individuals, families/whānau and communities.

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  56. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,231 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    So please tell us, just what do you think ‘public health services’ is tied to ‘research and evaluation’ – and done for then?

    Again they are linked to the objectives above – where such activity is used to fulfill the legislated requirement of reducing gambling harm.

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  57. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    Remind me again Judith, what is it that you claim the Salvation Army won’t/can’t do that PGF did?
    Nothing I’ve seen so far.

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  58. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    Other Labour stooges who were heavily involved with the Problem Gambling Foundation include former Labour MP and longterm Labour Councillor Richard Northey, who was its chairman for 8 years, and remained a consultant to them while a Labour councillor. One of their managers, Tony Milne, has just become a Labour candidate in Christchurch.

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  59. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    See that’s the rub. PGF were not being contracted by the MoH to do any lobbying or advocacy. It is clear from MoH that it wasn’t in their remit.

    But you haven’t produced the remit to PGF, all you have produced is a document that deals in a universal manner (some of which cover the requirement) and nothing specific regarding what PGF were contracted to do. The objectives make it very clear that ‘healthy policy at national, regional and local levels’ is to be included. How do you think that is achieved, if the very organisations that deal at the ‘coal face’ – who actually have the numbers and see the harm in its rawest form are not involved in more than just counselling problem gamblers?. Passing that knowledge on and advocating for change in the areas where it is identified through experience, is required – is advocacy!

    @ RightNow (6,232 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    The PGF allows its employees to politically lobby and the Salvation Army does not allow their employees to politically lobby.

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  60. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ George Patton (330 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you George for confirming that this issue and the governments move is about political affiliations and nothing to do with reducing gambling harm. My point exactly.

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  61. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    Judith said

    I see Peter Dunne has jumped in on the act. He is the last person who should be involved. His relationship with the gaming industry is a real legend. He’s cruising really really close to the wind to involve himself in this. One only has to look at his historical involvement.

    But Peter Dunne didn’t accept an invite from SkyCity to its corporate box at Eden Park like Trevor Mallard did a couple of winters ago, did he Judith? Both Labour and the Greens (through Denise Roche) are hopelessly conflicted on this issue.

    And isn’t the fact that Labour has a TAB bookie as a candidate in the General Election completely incompatible with their stance on problem gambling?

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  62. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (9,696 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Another person ready to confirm that this decision is a political one, and not within the objectives of the Act, in which gambling harm is the issue. Well done.

    Peter Dunne has a lot more to answer to than simply accepting an invite from Sky City to a rugby match or whatever on the issue of problem gambling. He was fortunate his most involvement was in a time that no one paid a great deal of attention to such things – however … :-)

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  63. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    Judith: Yeah sure Elaycee, different day, same threats…

    Threats????? Jesus wept! Not for the first time, you’re making shit up.

    All I said is that it’s a pity you haven’t disclosed whether you have any business relationship with the PGF – it would put your comments into context.

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  64. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee (3,928 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I first became interested in the issue of problem gambling when I found so many offenders, primarily property crimes, used it as an excuse for their behaviour. Part of my involvement meant making referrals to problem gambling services, and so developed knowledge at that stage through interaction with the various organisations. Later, I acted in an advisory capacity to two political parties (one right, one left) regarding problem gambling issues, at the time the new Gambling Bill was before the house. That job required me to gather more knowledge and to work with ministers, the gambling industry, hospitality industry and problem gambling services. PS also with the select committee.

    I have not had anything to do with the issue in a professional capacity for many years, but like most things in life, when you work with it, you develop a curiosity and so keep up to date with what is going on. As far as I know, that is not a crime, but I’m sure you will advise me if it is? :-)

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  65. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – the irony of Judith accusing other people of making threats comes with the closing line of her 12.57pm comment:

    Perhaps I need to start sending some old emails to media! How about that Peter?

    That certainly looks like a clear threat to me.

    @ Judith – I haven’t confirmed that the decision was a political one, so please don’t tell lies about me or put words in my mouth. The decision was made by public servants at the Ministry of Health, at arm’s length from politicians. What I am confirming is that those who are moaning the loudest and longest have deep political and personal motives.

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  66. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    Judith, your political slip is showing.

    “The PGF allows its employees to politically lobby and the Salvation Army does not allow their employees to politically lobby.”
    And there is nothing to stop PGF employees to continue political lobbying. If your claim is that the loss of the contract with MoH means they can no longer fund the political lobbying then it is clear from the MoH service plan that they were using funds for the purposes other than those contracted.

    The contracted services are a subset of the Act, not the entirety. You have not shown any evidence that it was part of the contracted services to actively politically lobby. The closest it comes to in the MoH service plan is:

    • policy development and implementation: engagement with government
    agencies, social organisations, private industry and businesses to reduce gambling
    harm

    The Salvation Army work with government in a number of policy development areas, so you can rest assured that they will do at least as good a job as the PGF.

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  67. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (9,697 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    The fact the you are ignorant enough to believe that the public servants at the ministry of health act independently from the politicians demonstrates you absolutely no willingness or ability to understand the issue anyway. Do you seriously think that the Minister OH office was NOT involved in this decision?

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  68. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,233 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Those people that work for PGF have to now find other jobs. The only place employing people with their skills will be Salvation Army. Salvation Army DO NOT allow their employees to make any public comments about political matters.

    Therefore, how will those past employees from PGF be able to continue with their lobbying and advocating? Regardless of how they feel, they still have to feed their families – that is – work.

    And yes, the Sallies are perfectly capable of doing as good as job as PGF – they have some talented people, BUT not in the advocacy role. They are very limited in what they are prepared to do in that area.

    You would like to think they were using money for other areas but I doubt that is the case. They were using money to advocate, as the MOH policy dictates, except in this case advocating against harm, meant criticising the governments Sky City deal. Sommit that did not go down too well.

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  69. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    @ Judith; what’s with the anger and ad-hominems? As a matter of fact, I am very well acquainted with issues relating to gambling, although I would never profess to having the same level of expertise which you so clearly possess on this, and all the other issues on which you lecture DPF’s readership. Have you ever considered starting your own blog, or do you prefer to let someone else do all the hard work?

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  70. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (9,698 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Believe it or not I am a very busy person, but I work in a very politically correct area where I am required to wear a polished halo at all times.

    I use this blog to anonymously vent my frustrations with the things that I am not allowed to ‘vent’ elsewhere.
    Unfortunately for you – and the targets for my arrows at the moment – I have had the flu for five weeks I feel like shyte and so my angst, and frustration adds an extra ‘barb’ to my comments. My patience is at an all time low. I’m sorry if I hurt your sensitivities ! :-)

    Oh, and I wouldn’t even begin to know how to start a blog, I have only just learned how to do more than one ‘smilely’.

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  71. lazza (358 comments) says:

    Judith (Tizard?) … wots your typing speed?

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  72. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    These were from Harriet’s irrational rants at 1.24pm and 1.36pm.
    The second one helps clarify her weird comments in the first one. She admits, it appears, that she is not actually in New Zealand and probably hasn’t been here for at least 5 years if she still seems to think Trevor is a Minister.

    “Mallard is bloody weak Minister and probably a hypocrat:
    All sexual health related matters have to be privatised also.”

    “Anyway, whoever the fuck is the Health Minister back in NZ is doing a half-assed job of sexual healthcare – they encourage it!”

    I suspect that her present place of abode is probably in Denver in the US. They are the ones who have legalised pot, are they not?
    One must assume that she has been enjoying the crop and is therefore a bit addled.

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  73. alex Masterley (1,490 comments) says:

    Crikey, KS, this seems to have pressed a button!

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  74. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    @ lazza (280 comments) says:
    March 21st, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I have no idea what it is, but it’s very fast.

    and no, not ‘Tizard’ just Tizzy or its that Dizzy? I’ll leave the answer to that up to you. :-)

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  75. Judith (7,626 comments) says:

    Okay, I’ve said my bit – I get the hint, I shall withdraw from the thread – and leave you too it. Sorry to absorb so much of your time! ;-) And KS, I don’t know about very many things, but the things I do know about – I know a lot about.

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  76. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    “They were using money to advocate, as the MOH policy dictates”

    The old pea under the thimble trick. You’re admitting they were using money from their MoH contract but claiming that MoH policy dictates advocacy, which you’re trying to present as an equivalence to political lobbying, to reach a conclusion that the PGF was paid under contract to undertake politically lobbying.

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  77. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    I don’t know about very many things, but the things I do know about – I know a lot about.

    Pity that doesn’t relate to events on planet earth. :D

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  78. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    ……and in your case RRM…….penis enlargement! :cool:

    You heard that too, huh? :-)

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  79. doggone7 (702 comments) says:

    The PGF losing its contract had a funnier side this afternoon.

    I heard Peter Dunne saying that someone was lying. So that’s progress I suppose, he apparently thinks he knows what lying is!

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  80. RF (1,272 comments) says:

    Jesus H Christ. What has Judith been on. It will be good to have a rest from her numerous posts. Maybe she should buy a cat and devote her attention to it. Has anyone ever considered she is unemployed and bored stiff.

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  81. itstricky (1,566 comments) says:

    The PGF like looks tired, needs to be retired. The hilarious thing about it is its placement directly across the road from NZ Lotteries. Now isn’t that ironic?. Tax payer funded lobbying? Well the only two examples I know of are the ones posted here -the PGF and the Smoke free what’s it. Now I don’t think anyone would argue that those weren’t good causes for which we should have active groups pointing out that the Government might be doing stupid things in their area – so were is the harm? Unless you’re the Government and you can’t take criticism, of course…

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  82. artemisia (208 comments) says:

    It’s been going on for years. Nice work if you can get it.

    Back in 2006 “National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Sandra Goudie has revealed that providers are being massively overpaid for the intervention services they provide.

    “The Pacific Peoples Addiction Service in Hamilton was paid $143,160 for intervention services in the 2005/06 year and had only eight customers, even though its contract required it to see at least 300 people – that’s $17,895 for each person using the service.

    “Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust in Auckland was paid $186,976 in 2005/06 and had 13 users – that’s $14,382 for each user. Its contract required it to see at least 600 people.

    “And Te Rapuora Health Services in Nelson was paid $86,124 and had six people use its service – that’s $14,354 per user.

    “Contracts also reveal that people are being counted as clients if they have had a 16-minute phone conversation.

    “Is the Government happy to pay up to $18,000 for a 16-minute phone conversation or a single half-hour counselling session?

    “You’ve got to wonder, since Labour has given nearly all the providers extra contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars more.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0610/S00382/national-calls-in-auditor-general.htm

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  83. RF (1,272 comments) says:

    Mallard is quacking as the former stooge at the Gambling Foundation is the new Labour prospect for Christchurch Central. A lightweight who is scared of his shadow.

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  84. Grant (426 comments) says:

    And now Cunliffe is following Mallard’s lead…

    Problem Gambling Foundation speaks out against the dodgy pokies conventions deal. Nats cancel their funding! pic.twitter.com/Ygz2NjiehY— David Cunliffe (@DavidCunliffeMP) March 21, 2014

    G

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  85. freemark (452 comments) says:

    Hey Judith.
    I just wanted to say, you really are a better class of troll, befitting the quality & intellect of the people you joust with here. It’s like watching the good cop/bad cop routine, you and ross69, yoza, itstricky etc and all those other pseudonyms. You guys and the different election year’s strategy would probably fool a few of your own supporters, but most here can see through it – especially when the stakes get higher, the trough further away and the desperation tactics are called up by your controllers. The mask is slipping though, plus of course Socialist central has more leaks than The Rena.
    But keep it up, it’s entertaining in a kind of Cunliffe/Norman/Jones/Dotcom kind of way. :)

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  86. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    A sensible decision. Once gamblers quit the habit they need something to do with their hands other than pushing the buttons on the machines.
    The Sallys can get then playing the trombone or waving a tambourine! :)

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  87. itstricky (1,566 comments) says:

    You guys and the different election year’s strategy would probably fool a few of your own supporters, but most here can see through it

    I’m flattered that you think I’m anyone other than an average Joe.

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  88. RightNow (6,668 comments) says:

    Judtih is a liar, Judith is a liar…

    The foundation’s chief executive Graeme Ramsey said that its taxpayer funding came with strict conditions, and not a cent of it was spent on advocacy work.

    Campaigns were paid for with private donations.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11224123

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