RITA was counting on a 2019/20 net profit of $165.8 million – but did they expect being nobbled by a virus?

According to a Stuff report:  New Zealand might be in lockdown but at a time when problem gamblers are at their most vulnerable, the TAB and online gambling sites are open for business.

Might be in lockdown?

We wonder where sports writer Mat Kermand was when he wrote that sentence as a prelude to a somewhat huffy article about taking bets not being listed as an essential service.

Kermand noted that under level four of the Covid-19 scale – which says “only businesses absolutely essential to ensure the necessities of life”  can operate – the TAB can trade online because it can run its business with staff working remotely during the Coronavirus outbreak.

He went on:

Lotto is also available online only and overseas gambling and gaming websites are not restricted by New Zealand law despite it not being illegal for Kiwis to use them.

PGF Services entered the narrative with spokesperson Andree Froude calling on all online gambling services to step up their host responsibility, because (apparently) the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis off work, unable to leave home, with excess spare time on their hands, will be to blow whatever money they can struggle to find in these straitened times. Continue reading “RITA was counting on a 2019/20 net profit of $165.8 million – but did they expect being nobbled by a virus?”

MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed

Chris  Seed  has been  confirmed  as  Secretary  of  Foreign Affairs  & Trade,  as Point of Order   earlier foreshadowed.  An experienced diplomat, he succeeds  Brook Barrington  who  the State Services  Commission named as CEO of the  Department of  Prime Minister &  Cabinet.

Seed,  who  recently  returned to NZ  after  serving  a  five-year term  as High Commissioner to  Canberra,   is  expected  to   work  closely   with  Foreign  Minister   Winston Peters on his Pacific Reset   policies.

His  appointment  is  understood  to  have been  extremely  well received  by  senior staff  in MFAT, whose  morale  was  severely bruised    during the era of  John Allen   as  CEO.     It is  known  that Peters   has been   keen  to  return  MFAT   to  the   slot   it  enjoyed   before the Allen era    as one of the  key  sources of   advice  to  Cabinet, not  just  on   foreign and trade  policies but  in other   areas  of   national  security. Continue reading “MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed”