The cutting of taxpayer funding to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) has led Kiwiblog’s David Farrar to assert it has been using taxpayer funds illegally for lobbying.
This raises questions about funding gifted by Waiheke Local Board to former CEO of the PGF, John Stansfield, now Chair of the Waiheke High School Board of Trustees, with no accountability. Will it be used for lobbying?
This is what David Farrar has to say.
Will PGF use taxpayer funds to sue the taxpayer?
Nobody knows better than the PGF how to get the taxpayer to fund their activities. As Kiwiblog goes on to say…
The answer of course is that the PGF used the taxpayer funding to massively fund their lobbying activities. It’s easy to do so. The biggest cost is always staff time, and you just have a proportion of the staff’s time spent on lobbying.
As former CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation, we can assume John Stansfield, Chairman of the Waiheke High School Board of Trustees and partner of hard left Green Party list MP Denise Roche, is well versed in the practices of that organisation.
Following this exposure from Kiwiblog, there should be an investigation by the CEO of Auckland Council into the recent handing over of $25k of Waiheke Local Board SLIPS (small local improvements projects) money, without an officers’ report or recommendation. I raised this in an earlier blog. It was given by the Waiheke Local Board, to fund the development of a model to show how a community pool could be run on school land. Since there are five sites identified by Council consultants as possible sites for a ‘community’ pool on Waiheke, prematurely creating a model on how to run one on school grounds sounds more like a big lobbying exercise to me. At the time of approving the money, the Local Board had no parameters or accountability around the money, nor evidence that the Ministry of Education or the school even want a pool on their land. Although free money sounds as good a reason as any.
Given the close ties between Stansfield, Roche, the Problem Gambling Foundation, the Green Party and the Waiheke Local Board, the tax and rate paying public deserve some answers.
I understand the CEO of Auckland Council has already been made aware of this misuse of process by the Waiheke Local Board. He should now act to ensure ratepayers’ money has not been misappropriated for lobbying or other purposes.