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.
Why? It's hard not to see it as revenge for the organisation's strong advocacy against National's corrupt SkyCity pokie deal. National's Tau Henare certainly sees it that way:
why should Govt pay a group to be critical of it? Pay them to help but don't pay them to bag the hand that feeds them.
[Tau Henare has previously received hospitality from SkyCity. Guess they're getting what they paid for]
Never mind the fact that the Foundation's advocacy operations are privately funded. They oppose government policy, and therefore in the government's eyes they should be defunded. Its everything that is wrong with National in a nutshell.
Taxpayer's money is not the gift of the government, to be used to reward cronies and punish opponents. This decision must be reversed.