Is Problem Gambling Foundation promoting fictional stories?

The Dom Post reports:

The Press Council has upheld a complaint from Lenni and Nuu Mamea about The Dominion Post’s reporting of a symposium organised by the Problem Foundation.

The August 24 article, on, featured the Mameas’ children telling a fictional story and poem about being victims in a family where the parents were problem gamblers. The children were also interviewed with parental consent.

Accompanied by a photograph of the children, the article – ‘Kids speak out against problem gambling’ – quoted from the poem and referred to the award-winning speech. It included the line, “The Mamea family has been working with the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF) for two years, and the parents were recovering from the addictions.”

This turned out to be untrue in that the story and poem were fictional and the complainants were not problem gamblers.

So the PGF had a symposium about the effects of gambling on families, and the stories didn’t have to be true! And the prize went to a fictional account!

The full decision is here. An extract:

[The children] performed at a symposium that was promoted as featuring children sharing their personal stories about the impact of gambling on their lives. The Problem Gambling Foundation now admits it made a mistake in not verifying that the children’s performance came from their personal experience.

All media should be aware of this. The PGF uses invented stories.

Three members of the council, Clive Lind, Stephen Stewart and John Roughan, disagreed with the decision. They considered the case to be an unfortunate misunderstanding, primarily on the part of the Problem Gambling Foundation which put fictional material in front of a seminar billed as a forum “where children would share their personal stories through poetry and song about the impact gambling has had on their lives”. 

I wonder how much money the PGF gets from taxpayers and/or through levies to promote false stories?


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