The New Zealand Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) will appear in High Court tomorrow (Monday) to challenge a Ministry of Health decision that drastically cut its funding.
The PGF was unexpectedly informed by the Ministry of Health earlier this year that the Ministry would no longer be contracting to the foundation for anything other than its services to the Asian community, in effect a 70 percent slash in funding.
This cut in funding would mean the closure of the Foundation’s 10 offices and 11 outreach clinics and would affect 52 of the 63 members of PGF staff.
“We think that we deliver very, very high quality services and if the process that we’ve been through didn’t recognise that and didn’t recognise that we’ve been doing that well and delivering on our contract for 25 years, then there’s something wrong with the process,” Graeme Ramsay, chief executive of the PDF said.
Based on legal consultations, the Foundation was advised that there were strong grounds to challenge the decision and filed for an urgent Judicial Review to overturn the Ministry’s decision. The review is scheduled to take place over three days next week.
“We have a good case,” said Ramsey. “I think when you’ve got a process that gives you a strange result, then you’ve got to question both the design of the process and the way it was conducted. We think it was fundamentally flawed and acted to the disadvantage of PGF, and clearly the work we do and the clients we serve. All we want is a fair and robust process.”