NRT: Stinkier and stinkier

Written By: - Date published: 5:29 pm, March 24th, 2014 - 37 comments
Categories: health - Tags: , , , ,

no-right-turn-256In the ongoing saga about the Problem Gambling Foundation, No Right Turn points out that the Salvation Army were unaware that the Ministry of Health had decided that they would take over as the national provider. They hadn’t even applied for it. It appears that only thing driving the ministry’s decision was the complaints from the gambling industry about the PGF trying to reduce problem gambling…. Is the gambling industry is thoroughly corrupting National’s ministers?

The government’s decision to cut the Problem Gambling Foundation’s funding is looking stinkier and stinkier. First, news that they were the target of repeated complaints from the gambling industry:

The Ministry of Health had several meetings with the Problem Gambling Foundation to address concerns about political lobbying after complaints by poker machine trusts about outspoken attacks on the sector, the Sunday Star-Times has been told.

A senior industry source said pokie trusts had lodged several complaints with the ministry about PGF’s behaviour, resulting in the foundation’s chief executive, Graeme Ramsey, being called to “please explain” meetings.

Ramsey confirmed the meetings, saying “it’s fair to say our political activity creates tension with the funder” but said he had told the ministry no taxpayer money was spent on advocacy work.

Second, it seems that the Salvation Army didn’t even apply for the contract it won:

The Salvation Army says it was unaware it would be taking over as the lead agency for gambling addiction services after the Ministry of Health controversially cut funding to the Problem Gambling Foundation.

[…]

National manager of addictions Captain Gerry Walker said he had not yet been shown a contract and “did not know what the situation is”.

His organisation had applied for its usual amount of funding for gambling addiction services – between $1 million and $2 million.

Instead, the ministry decided that it would take over as the national provider.

So, a contract is taken away from an organisation which is publicly acknowledged to do excellent work, and given to one which didn’t even apply for it, because that organisation is unpopular with the industry the funder is supposed to be cleaning up after. If that isn’t a political decision driven by revenge, I don’t know what is.

37 comments on “NRT: Stinkier and stinkier”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    Oh dear! That is so shocking, corrupt and disgraceful.

    This single incident alone should be enough for people to kick out this shonky government.

  2. Tracey 2

    I am surprised pete george hasnt posted another press release from dunne to shine some light on this. Like he did on friday.

  3. Sacha 3

    It is entirely possible that the Ministry of Health decided or were instructed to focus their review and subsequent re-tendering on treatment rather than prevention activities. The Salvation Army does not do the latter, so their costs for the other service would probably be cheaper per head.

    It’s like buying more ambulances at the bottom of the cliff by stopping the long-term fence-building project at the top. Sadly, this governament’s usual short-termism and muppetry is enough to explain the situation. Someone needs to seek out the Terms of reference for the review panel. What were they told to focus on?

    • Zorr 3.1

      uh Sacha – Salvation Army didn’t tender anything. There was no “competition” at the time that PGF was dropped. This was completely a political hit job by the gambling industry and their enablers in the National government.

      Do keep up.

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        The Salvation Army re-applied for their existing contract. The Ministry decided to make that larger at the expense of the PGF. They’re still negotiating. The timing of the communication about all this seems polticised or incompetent, for sure.

  4. karol 4

    The Problem Gambling Foundation has produced and lobbied on evidence that links problem gambling with family violence, poverty etc and various kinds of crime. PGF presentation.

    They have also been quite vocal about the way casinos and pokies are used for money laundering.

    2004

    2007

    Criminals are targeting Auckland’s Sky City and other casinos because they see them as an easy way of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars from crimes such as drug dealing.

  5. coolas 5

    Be great to see the Salvation Army show solidarity with PGF and not allow themselves to be used politically in this ‘divide to rule’ scenario.

    • Saarbo 5.2

      Salavation Army should just transfer across the entire infrastructure/staff from PGF.

    • Stephanie Rodgers 5.3

      I don’t think it’s that likely, given their unfortunate history of ignoring the needs of other charities.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4973829/Sallies-collect-despite-plea-by-Rape-Crisis

      • Colt45 5.3.1

        You reckon Stephanie?

        What’s the go with the likes of breast cancer in NZ then?

        Here in Aus they, along with the likes of the Smith Family, spend several million dollars on a single campaign to raise 3-4 million dollars more. They have been complained about for ‘crowding out’ all the smaller charties – as the public increase their donations to the likes of Pink Ribbon days ect from all the ‘mass advertising’ and ‘celebrity endorsments’ and then don’t give to the smaller charities.

        I think the Sallies ect are just wanting their ‘fair share’. Nothing wrong with that.

    • Jenny 5.4

      YES, Coolas,
      I too think like you. The Salvation Army may be getting into bed with the whole stinky relationship grip that the Gambling Industry has on the country (I have always thought this Gambling malarky is a clever method of colonising the nation from top to bottom, including the health workforce, the Govt departments (Health and Internal Affairs), the general community organisations that seek and recieve money/grants from gambling activity). I’d hate to see this national helping services provider that used to work for justice and to aid the poor, now……just becoming a pawn in the Gambling scene.
      I asked myself what response I would want to see from the Salvation Army as the preferred PROVIDER of these Gambling related harm prevention services?

      I would want to see The Army declaring this cunning move of the INDUSTRY and GOVERNMENT for what it is….divide and control and censure tactics in the guise of economic expediency.

      I would want to see the Salvation Army resist and expose this effort to catch them into the net of ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in this sycophantic Gambling debacle. (In future actively becoming part of the mechanism of bondage of the population and bondage of the relevant segment of the Health Workforce.)

      If the Army has any memory of how its work began, it might be brave enough to REFUSE TO BE CAPTURED like this – both being invited to CANNIBALISE its competitor/colleague, and to ACCEPT FAVOUR from the STATE/INDUSTRY MACHINE.

      Good causes can come unstuck if they chase financial gain as their primary value……what exactly is it that we are seeing here and what are the wider ramifications for the future?

      Yes, the Government tender for services gave plenty of warning it was going to “test the market” re service providers, in the 2013 documentation in the pre-tender round. I read these myself and thought it may allow new operators to tender for the work. It was also clear in those documents that the Ministry of Health sought agencies with a good track record and with wide ranging geographical coverage and social services experience. The indication was probably there as there are few organisations that are nationally positioned to have the infrastructure to provide wide ranging social services to add gambling harm prevention to. It never occurred to me that PGF would lose its contract nationally though.

      We could rely on PGF to speak up and speak out in an organised way when many other organisations played it very safe, and when individuals had little clout to use, being but one voice. Dependance on government contracts makes the Gambling Harm Prevention Service Providers somewhat docile and they lose their bravery, their voice for supporting the entrapped can be muted or silenced. Now what?

  6. Tracey 6

    Only recently sallies gave up one of its counselling premises in auckland so it wasnt expecting more customers.

    • Chooky 6.1

      while the rank and file of the Salvation Army are of good heart…in the past there have been leaders at the top of the Salvation Army who may bear more scrutiny….eg links with USA and politicians and right wing political affiliations, circles moved in etc…..

  7. dave 7

    the donkey government has it a new low with this one if this isn’t corruption them what is ???

  8. tricledrown 8

    Tony Ryall is the Minister of health the buck stops with him
    Ryall will have been in the decision making process right up to his neck.
    Corruption by gambling interests is widespread.
    Only the gambling industry has any advantage in this decision.
    National ShonKey are joined to the sky city expansion.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    We should recriminalise casinos. Not only will the social benefits be enormous, we get to defund a major stream of corrupt financing.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Tax payers are subsidising the gambling industry to the tune of $6 billion every year for the damage and harm gambling does to the community.
    Tony gamblinco Ryall.
    John bribekey
    Double dipstick
    Have their prints all over the kneecapping of the Problem Gammbling foundation.

  11. Bearded Git 11

    On Planet Key the Nats don’t realise how bad this looks. It’s the kind of thing voters can relate to.

    My guess is they will have left a paper trail somewhere that tells the real story of this so-called tendering process. Time to start digging. Anyone for an OIA request?

  12. richard 12

    Wouldn’t it be nice if useless hacks like Claire Trevett could focus on an issue like this, rather than reporting lame jokes by John Key?

  13. tricledrown 13

    There was Now tendering process the sallies have heard nothing about it this is National bullying the the problem gambling foundation into submission.
    .This gamble by National will backfire.

  14. Steve Withers 14

    Google+ won’t let me post the link to this page, but will let me post the link to NRT.

    Is this how it is supposed to be? I haven’t seen a situation before where I am actually PREVENTED from posting due to the link I’ve included.

  15. Whateva next 15

    Absolutely would show strength in unity of Sally Ally declined. As Billy Brag said last night, Freedom, cynicism is the enemy of socialism, not capitalism!

  16. Richard Christie 16

    Might anyone familiar with the S.A. programmes please clarify if they include promoting a religious component?

  17. Colt45 17

    Take the blind for example, they’ve been begging in the streets for charity since Biblical times – as their ‘door knocking’ appeal is still in August I believe – and the Left is all busily concerned with bloody gamblers in NZ?

    I’ll bet London to a brick that all this moaning about the Sallies from those on the Left, to help win themselves an election, will not end well. It’s a mugs game – as the general public see the Sallies as people who really do have time for the real hopeless cases – alcoholics.

    So if you promote gamblers as hopeless – then the Sallies fit the bill to help them – and if you don’t promote gamblers as hopeless – then you don’t have an arguement. And besides – the Sallies actually visit pubs dressed in their uniforms!

    It’s odds on you will lose this fight!

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