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Polity: National cuts charity funding because charity criticises National

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, March 21st, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

This is awful. The government has cut funding to the Problem Gambling Foundation, and National MP Tau Henare says on twitter it is because the PGF “criticises” too much.

Apparently National doesn’t like it when a charity set up to minimise problem gambling has an opinion about what causes problem gambling. Idiots.

Update:

A screenshot of the tweet:

Problem Gambling Foundation Henare tweet

77 comments on “Polity: National cuts charity funding because charity criticises National”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Arrogant. Out of touch.

    Keep it up, you wingnut fuckwits.

  2. bad12 2

    But, but, but, Slippery the Prime Minister says that there can be only one, Charity that is, the National Party…

  3. RedLogix 3

    You need to get the Nats message.

    There is nothing wrong with corruption, nothing wrong with gambling, nothing wrong with alcohol, no such thing as poverty.

    That’s been Key’s instinctive response all along – he’s ‘relaxed’ about these things because he really is relaxed about them. This is an important element of his popularity; because Key exhibits little shame over these things, the public don’t sense that there is anything to be worried about.

  4. tricledrown 5

    $6billion a year damage gambling does to our economy.
    Nationals response more damage please.
    $6 billion alcohol damage to oureconomy .
    National response wet bus ticket tiny bandaid fix.
    Poverty $6 billion a year 285,000 children going hungry hospital resources being wasted on preventable illnesses.
    Childrens future income potential being undermined.
    National the laughing ladder pullers.
    Bean brained bean counters
    $18 billion lost from our economy every year by incompetant Narcissistic Aloof selfish shortsighted corrupt conmen.

  5. karol 6

    Press Release this morning from the Problem Gambling Foundation:

    The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand can confirm that the Ministry of Health has informed us it will not be contracting with PGF for the bulk of current services after June 30.

    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.

    As a result PGF will not be able to continue as the largest provider of problem gambling services in Australasia and an internationally recognised pioneer in our field.

    The effect of this decision will be to silence our voice

    More at the link.

    And what is the alternative “superior” offer? What organisation?

    • Tracey 6.1

      from Herald

      “Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said the decision over funding for the foundation had “nothing to do” with the foundation’s opposition to the SkyCity deal “as far as I’m aware”.

      Foundation chief Graeme Ramsey did not return calls last night.”

      It will also be interesting to see the scope of the superior offer for clinical and public health services, and if they are a NZS company (or australian) and if after one year they deal with as many “clients”.

      I see Queenstown is getting an international convention centre. That’s CHCH, Auckland and Queenstown… and Auckland had to get one cos we just dont have enough… (auckland already has one btw)

    • Ant 6.2

      What’s the bet some of the funding and provision will also be going to some National/Maori Party connected crony Whanau Ora kick back group.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      what is the alternative “superior” offer? What organisation?

      Oravida presumably.

  6. RedLogix 7

    On thinking it over…

    Anyone who walks through the gambling floors at Sky City will readily note how very prominent Asian patrons are.

    Given how much Chinese money flows into the National Party Charity – I wonder if there is not a money trail to be sniffed out here?

  7. It appears that funding hasn’t been cut, it is being moved to a “superior” provider. From the Problem Gambling Foundation’s media statement:

    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.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1403/S00100/statement-on-ministry-of-health-contracts.htm

    And Stuff report:

    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.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9853344/Problem-Gambling-Foundation-loses-Govt-funding

    It’s tough on the PGF but funds for services should be contestable. The Salvation Army have a record of providing a wide range of services and they have also been critical of the Government.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Pete real fact checking ought to mean more than accepting at face value what Peter Dunne’s office has said.

      • Pete George 8.1.1

        I just added to the information here, I haven’t claimed it was fact checking.

        Do you think what Stuff and the DPF said can be accepted at face value?

        Do you think what Trevor Mallard and Rob Salmond have said can be accepted at face value?

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          Its a pretty poor effort tho pete given your new role. I mean the claim is that funding has been cut to pgf. You say it hasnt been cut someone else has it… see my other comments.

          • Pete George 8.1.1.1.1

            PGF won’t get as much from the next round of funding. The Salvation Army will get more funding instead, for however long the contract is for. That’s how a lot of Government funding of NGO’s works.

            I have no idea if the SA service will be “superior” or not, but they have extensive existing infrastructure and may be able to operate on lower overheads.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Then why did you write it had been moved to a “superior provider” ? Those were your words. The published accounts stated superior offer. A big difference.

        • Puddleglum 8.1.1.2

          “the DPF”?

          Those initials sound familiar but what do they have to do with this?

      • Pete George 8.1.2

        RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk

        Internal Affairs minister Peter Dunne and the Ministry of Health both “emphatically deny” any political involvement.

        • mickysavage 8.1.2.1

          So how do you explain Tau’s tweets?

          • Pete George 8.1.2.1.1

            I don’t have to explain his tweets. I’m not aware of him having anything to do with the Ministry of Health funding for gambling services. Are you?

            • mickysavage 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Well wearing your other hat Pete don’t you think this is a matter that needs to be resolved? And are you concerned that what the ministry is telling us conflicts with what a National MP is telling us?

              • This gets well covered here:
                http://matthewbeveridge.co.nz/politics/problem-gambling-foundation-tau-henare-and-the-risk-of-commenting-on-social-media/

                In my opinion Henare has said things that are stupid, and as far as I’m aware he has nothing to do with the Ministry of Health contacting gambling services.

                • mickysavage

                  But Pete without the benefit of seeing briefing papers or doing OIA requests you have formed a conclusion on the subject. Don’t you agree that there should be further investigation? The “Tau Henare is an idiot” is a plausible explanation but losing a contract like this is a rather unusual occurrence.

                • karol

                  For someone committed to “balance” and fact checking, you seem remarkably quick to support the government and UF lines rather than looking at both sides of the debate, PG.

                  Not providing much credibility to you “unbiased” fact-checking editor role.

                  • UF has nothing to do with it. It’s a Ministry of Health issue.

                    I’m not supporting anyone, I’m providing information as it becomes available.

                    Do you expect every comment in social media to be backed by absolute balance and irrefutable proof? Or just mine?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nah, we expect your comments to be pointless, irrelevant, and all about you. Ooh look, there’s yet another one.

                    • karol

                      I’m providing information as it becomes available.

                      hahahhaha. There’s a lot of other stuff out on the social media that you are not reporting – your reporting is being very selective in supporting Petre Dunne’s lines. Is Petre Dunne not the leader and only MP for the UF party?

                      Your willingness to jump in on this with support for particular line and not to provide any in depth links, shows your bias.

                      You are not giving your new fact checking role any credibility. You are commenting like a player out to influence opinions.

                      Do you expect every comment in social media to be backed by absolute balance and irrefutable proof? Or just mine?

                      Again…. hahahaha.

                      Every comment on social media is not being made by someone claiming to be an unbiased, fact checking editor.

                    • karol

                      one of the many social media comments you haven’t bothered to repeat, from Russell Brown on Twitter:

                      @GraemeEdgeler @mizjwilliams And the purpose of gutting one organisation so another can buy its services is …?

                    • I don’t see any point in repeating everything on Twitter here, but here’s a response to your one:

                      @GraemeEdgeler

                      @publicaddress @mizjwilliams … something we may find out when @PeterDunneMP answers my OIA request :-)

                      Just up the thread a little way you will see I linked to a post that has quite a good look at other coverage on social media, including No Right Turn. Here it goes again:

                      This gets well covered here:
                      http://matthewbeveridge.co.nz/politics/problem-gambling-foundation-tau-henare-and-the-risk-of-commenting-on-social-media/

                      Your criticisms are very selective.

                      For someone who’s often quite thoughtful and thorough you seem to have rushed into shooting the messenger here Karol.

                      There’s not much point in me continuing here, I’ll check back later to see if there’s any good information added.

                    • felix

                      Surely Pete George, citizen, can have his own opinions and voice them quite separately from his role of Pete George, fact checker extraordinaire.

                      No?

                    • felix

                      To clarify the above, what I mean is if I see a comment from Pete, I have no reason to assume he’s speaking on behalf of factiploicheck or whatever it’s called unless he had indicated that this was the case.

                    • karol

                      Agree, felix. It should be possible. I will wait to see if that actually happens.

                      On present performance I do not see that as likely.

                    • freedom

                      felix is right, we are all just so eager to see Pete’s skills as a researcher in action we are forgetting he has his own life, and his own views

                      I look forward to seeing how Pete manages that important distinction when the site is launched, whenever that will be …………

                    • rhinocrates

                      I’m SELECTIVELY providing information as it becomes FED TO ME

                      There, FIFY.

                      (The funny thing is, PG doesn’t even know what a joke – no sorry, punchline – he is across the blogosphere)

                      How about that lifestyle block you like to brag about, is it laid with astroturf?

                    • rhinocrates

                      Christ, even Hoots, who also overestimates his talents, spins better than this.

                      OAB: “Nah, we expect your comments to be pointless, irrelevant, and all about you. Ooh look, there’s yet another one.”

                      Yes, they are pointless, irrelevant and all about PG because PG is pointless, irrelevant and all about PG – perfect recursion there.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Obviously if the funding had been cut for the reasons Tau states the Ministry would be completely upfront about it.

                    Or, alternatively, it could be that Pete “credibility free zone” George and everything associated with him is an irrelevant waste of oxygen. Yep, that seems more likely.

              • freedom

                As a tweet in reply to Tau Henare said
                ” This is not good news for the Ombudsman’s Office then, I take it?” :)
                https://twitter.com/tauhenare/status/446725844044902400

              • fender

                Pete’s “other hat” is a knotted hanky supplied by one Dunne nothing fool.

                The cuts to the PGF is how the “smiling assassin” operates, disgracefully.

    • karol 8.2

      Funding has been cut from the Problem Gambling Foundation, as Polity states

      The Salvation Army does do some great work. However, the Salvation Army are majorly focused on services for problem gamblers and their families. While they have been critical of the government over SkyCity they have not campaigned as much on it as the PGF. The PGF has done loads of specific research and campaigning about Problem Gambling.

      Many have voiced concern over the last year in the way that competitive funding to charities have tended to make them less willing to criticise government policies.

      This 2010 report from Vic Uni, looks at changes in welfare funding and the role of charities and private providers. They did a lot of research of the available data (though relevant records to tend be a bit patchy). They conclude (tentatively) that the increase in the competitive approach to funding does not provide the best outcomes for those in need. They posit that complementary approaches are more beneficial.

      Conclusion:

      A small number of case studies have assisted in this respect. It would be helpful to extend these case studies to analyse a larger body of data over two or three decades, in order to ascertain whether the findings of the limited data used in this paper can be generalised to the health sector specifically and the charity sector as a whole. In the interim the tentative conclusion of this research is that Third Way government promotes complementary funding and delivery of social welfare services, but that the growing expensiveness of those services means that charities will increasingly rely on other sources for their income. As these sources are also limited, the prognosis is that charity delivery of social services is likely to decrease. The growing competitive nature of charity funding will therefore be disadvantageous to those who are most in need of welfare.

    • Tracey 8.3

      Superior offer is not the same as ” superior” provider

      Can post your source for the idea that the new fundee is a superior provider?

      Offer and provider are not synonyms so a source would be great

    • Tracey 8.4

      I cant find mr dunnes condemnation of key for saying the sa report authors need to get out more and see what he sees. A link would be great.

    • Macro 8.5

      This type of argument looks good if you think that social services should be “contestable” and “competitive” in some crazy mixed up way like they are the “building of some new road of national significance”. But such thinking is muddle headed and completely overlooks the reality of the situation. It is not the first time that this and the previous administration have done this kind of wholesale change of direction in the provision of a vital service for administrative and lets face it BUDGET expediency, completely overlooking the wholesale disruption and angst to the recipients and providers that this causes. But that is the way things are now in a world of Rogernomics. Only money is important. People don’t count.
      The end result will be the loss of expertise to overseas.
      Sure the Salvation Army can provide some good service – I’m not disputing that. But the expertise that resides with the PGF will be lost – to our detriment.
      NZ is now bereft of Occupational Therapist specialising in brain injury because of a similar funding decision by a National governed ACC. The end result will be more severe hospitalisation at a later date, and greatly ruined lives. But don’t let that worry you, the govt saved some money to give to the rich.

    • freedom 8.6

      “The Salvation Army have a record of providing a wide range of services and they have also been critical of the Government.”
      Which Government would that be Pete? Cannot say I have seen any such criticism of National by the Salvation Army. There have been various opinions expressed, largely by the food bank programmes,
      that they are having to supply a lot more assistance of late. They have stated a few times that it is getting harder for those in the low socio-economic bands to make ends meet, but I do not recall a single instance where they have said anything like ‘ because of the policies of this National Government people are hurting’ or words to that effect. Short of the Bretheren congregations of NZ a more blue button wearing church you would be hard pressed to find.

      by the by…..There is only 182 days till the election Pete, when is Politicheck going to launch ????

      If it was not planned to be a useful tool leading into the election, what was its purpose again?

      • karol 8.6.1

        The Salvation Army has been critical of the SkyCity deal.

        However, their criticism tends to be a bit more muted than that of the PGF, which has been far more focused on recording and campaigning around gambling and SkyCity.

        Also, it is helpful to have BOTH the Salvation Army and the PGF working together rather than them fighting each other for funding – with the one that claims less costs usually being the winner in this regime.

        Working in cooperation means that between them they will provide better outcomes for the community.

        • Pete George 8.6.1.1

          They may be working together.

          Jessica Williams ‏@mizjwilliams

          The Sallies also say they’d be open to talking to the PGF about how they might give them some of the funding to help deliver services.

          Utilising the strengths of both the Sallies and the PGF may (may) result in better community outcomes.

          • karol 8.6.1.1.1

            Working together for the best outcome is a good way forward.

            PG, when are you going to look for some actual, indepth evidence rather than being so quick to pick up on any comments supporting Dunne’s claims?

            So the Sallies are going to sub contract to PGF rather than each being given support in their own right? Sallies are basically being given power over the PGF?

          • Mark 8.6.1.1.2

            I worked in Mental Health for twenty seven years and had a regular interface with the S/A. The S/A have their heart in the right place but their service delivery is average in the extreme. They pay peanuts and their service reflects that. To make them the provider of choice is a bad joke on people who can least afford it.

        • freedom 8.6.1.2

          thanks for that Sky City article karol

  8. In a press release Dunne denies claims on Problem Gambling Foundation funding:

    Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has refuted entirely claims by the opposition that Problem Gambling Foundation funding is being cut due to political pressure.

    “The Ministry of Health clearly signalled in 2012 that it would go to the market for the provision of gambling harm minimisation services during its public consultation on this issue, and this is the outcome of that process”, says Mr Dunne.

    “This review had been on the cards for some years prior to this, as the development of the sector has to a large extent been undertaken in an ad hoc manner, with duplication of services from national providers simply not achieving best value for money that clients of services are entitled to expect.”

    The process to retender the contracts for these services was an open contestable tender.

    The evaluation panel deciding on the tender comprised six members: three internal Ministry staff and three external evaluators from the Department of Internal Affairs, the Health Promotion Agency and a Pacific health consultant.

    “The Ministry of Health has been particularly mindful to keep the process clearly separate from any perception of political interference. This extended to commissioning an independent review by Pricewaterhouse on its proposed decisions and I congratulate them on the rigorous commitment to probity they have shown in following this tender process as it went beyond the requirements of best practice”.

    “The outcome is that services are more streamlined and will achieve increased service provision from government funding in the gambling harm minimisation area. The Problem Gambling Foundation will continue to be contracted to provide specialist services, if negotiations with them are successful, says Mr Dunne.

    It is proposed that the major national provider will be the Salvation Army’s Oasis service, which already provides gambling harm and other addiction and social services across the country.

    “I am aware that the Salvation Army has been critical of the government in certain areas over the years, including the SkyCity convention centre, but I see no reason why this should prevent them from being contracted to provide the excellent services that they do.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1403/S00425/dunne-denies-claims-on-problem-gambling-foundation-funding.htm

    That adds to the story.

    • karol 9.1

      So your only interest seems to be to promote Dunne’s line.

      When are you going to attempt some “balance” by looking equally at opposing arguments and evidence?

      Not much fact-checker cred here.

      • freedom 9.1.1

        quote from Politicheck’s creator Rory McCarthy.
        “This editor for me needs to be utterly impartial. They need to preferably have no affiliation with any party, and a reputation as a solid researcher. ”

        no matter how it is factored in, none of this computes with Pete George being appointed editor

      • Pete George 9.1.2

        I’m not fact checking, I’m contributing to an evolving discussion. I’m sure you’re aware that fact checking takes time – especially when ministers and government departments are involved.

        When are you going to attempt some “balance” by looking equally at opposing arguments and evidence?

        • karol 9.1.2.1

          Mate, I’ve done more fact checking in this discussion than you have.

          I repeat, your bias is showing, your cred as an unbiased factchecker is pretty low.

          I am unashamedly left wing.

          I have quoted an academic piece of research on the issue, plus looked comparatively at the websites of the organisations under the spotlight. All you have done is quote social media and press releases in support of Dunne and the government position.

          • lprent 9.1.2.1.1

            I have quoted an academic piece of research on the issue, plus looked comparatively at the websites of the organisations under the spotlight. All you have done is quote social media and press releases in support of Dunne and the government position.

            I believe that PG would think that you are being unfair. Obviously social media is the way to get peer reviewed facts right?

            groan

        • framu 9.1.2.2

          “I’m not fact checking”

          so your just here filling in time, and words for the fun of it?

          perhaps you should check claims before repeating them – its your job these days isnt it?

          god your tiresome

        • freedom 9.1.2.3

          C’mon Pete, you are the face of Politicheck. It is a simple enough question:
          When is Politicheck going to launch ????

          The site never responds with anything but variations of ‘soon’

          Was your appointment as Editor not celebrated quite as much as the ‘advice’ led Rory to believe it would be? Is the entire enterprise now being shelved? Any comment?

          (Who did Rory get advice from? Who would ever recommend, as Editor of a political fact checking site, a man who admits he does not know how to access Hansard information?)

          • fender 9.1.2.3.1

            It will launch only when a “left” government takes over?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.3.2

            A man with none of the necessary mana, skills, or experience.

          • Tracey 9.1.2.3.3

            And confuses a superior offer with a superior provider.

            I dont care who he posts as his comment was wrong in at least two places. You didnt need to be a fact checker just read the quotes from before you.

        • rhinocrates 9.1.2.4

          I’m not fact checking, I’m contributing to an evolving discussion

          Oh how’s that for Orwellian obfuscation?

          It’s impossible to parody PG – he does it all by himself, and funniest of all, he doesn’t get it.

    • Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has not refuted claims by a National Party Member of Parliament that Problem Gambling Foundation funding is being cut due to political pressure.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.3

      Heard of Novapay ?

  9. anker 10

    It is a disastrous decision to cut a service that is working with experienced clinicians (as others have said, losing good people overseas).

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so to close a service as abruptly as this, you need very, very good reasons from an outcomes (clinical) and outputs point of view.

    Closing this service will be a major disruption to clients and the general public (who know of the service and may need to access it). There has to be extremely good (clinical) grounds to do this, rather than saving a few bucks.

    Good clinicians are hard to find, believe me.

    I will write to Tony Ryall and Peter Dunne and demand to see the clinical reasons (outcomes and outputs) that would warrant the closing of this service. I suggest others do too.

  10. karol 11

    RNZ reported on NGO fears of having their funding cut. Audio, Feb 2014.

    Organisations are being reassured that their funding won’t be affected if they are publicly critical of Government legislation. Some non-governmental organisations say they won’t put their names to select committee submissions critical of proposed law changes for fear of losing their funding.

  11. anker 12

    Now the taxpayers union is saying good on the government for cutting the funding to the PGF as taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for lobbyists.(or words to the effect). This is ignorance in the extreme.

    Everyone knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So lobbying to reduce the amount of gambling available such as pokies, is a health prevention role. Organizations such as PGF have an ethical duty to do this lobbying work.

  12. drongo 13

    C’mon, the Salvation Army won the bid and should do a fine job.

    Mr Milne (Labour candidate for Chch) and Mrs Roche (as Green as any tree) are interested parties and are crying far too loud. As far as the eternal Mr Mallard is concerned, we all know he leads the ABC faction and would love to embarrass Mr Cunliffe.

    • Murray Olsen 13.1

      The Salvation Army does a fine job on Manus Island as well. The Iranian refugee who is no longer alive is said to have been killed by an employee of the Salvation Army. While they are involved with that sort of rubbish, they should not be getting any of our government’s contracts. It’s been a long time since they have been an organisation that has just filled the stomachs of cold drunks with nourishing soup.

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