New Zealand Labour Party

Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle

The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.

“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of the contract of one of the country’s most respected social service providers proves just how inept the Ministry of Health’s contracting processes are.

“From apparent conflicts of interest to the flawed scoring process, the Ministry presided over the demise of a successful partnership which had been in place since 1988.

“The axing of the Foundation was an unmitigated disaster. The Ministry is a shambles and the responsibility for that must be laid at the feet of the Minister.

“Not only is the Department in chaos, but this Government has actively moved to increase gambling fully aware of the harm it does to our communities and families.

“We know the SkyCity deal alone will create hundreds more problem gamblers and around 8000 people will be impacted as a result,” says David Clark.