In 2019, PGF celebrated the 25th anniversary of the organisation along with introducing and consolidating our new branding. The Problem Gambling Foundation now trades as PGF Group, the overarching brand for PGF Services, Mapu Maia Pasifika Service, and Asian Family Services.
The organisation is a Charitable Trust, operating nationally with services delivered under contract to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and funded from the gambling levy.
Established in 1988 as the Compulsive Gambling Society (CGS), the organisation started out as a telephone service then expanded to include face to face services as demand grew. The prominent psychiatrist Fraser McDonald helped three men who were experiencing problems with gambling establish the CGS, because at that time there were no services available to work with gambling problems.
In 2001, the Problem Gambling Foundation succeeded the Compulsive Gambling Society, moving away from an addictions and medical-based philosophy to a public health approach.
Today, we deliver treatment and public health services nationwide. We have a skilled and diverse workforce with staff who are qualified in clinical work and health promotion.
Our vision is families and communities are healthy and resilient in a just society.
Our mission is enhancing the mana of individuals, families and communities: to be free from gambling harm.
Everything we do is designed to support individuals, whānau and community wellbeing
Our work promotes equity and equality
We speak up in support of policies and programmes that minimise harm and support the vulnerable
We look for smart ways to work to improve access and achieve better outcomes
Improved outcomes for Māori are a priority and we work in a way that recognises the Treaty principles of protection, partnership and participation
We aim to be recognised for best practice in service, public health and advocacy.
Paula Snowden joined the PGF Group as Chief Executive in December 2016.
She has wide government and not-for-profit sector experience. Paula was Deputy Chief Executive of the former Alcohol Advisory Council where she led the social marketing programme, and Chief Executive of the Quit Group Trust/Quitline through one of its most successful periods.
Paula has a strong executive leadership background. She was a General Manager at Housing New Zealand and Director of Community Relations and a member of the Executive Leadership Team at the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC). She has had a number of policy roles for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Maori Development. In all her leadership roles, Paula has focussed on addressing equity and on sustainable and effective programme delivery.
Paula is passionate about making a difference and supporting people and organisations to be the best they can be. She is a skilled change manager. Paula is a lay member appointment to the Nursing Council of New Zealand, is on the Board of UNICEF New Zealand and is a Trustee of the UNICEF Children’s Foundation.
Kelly Feng is the Director of National Asian Family Services. Kelly was a qualified medical doctor in China and migrated to New Zealand in 2002 where she obtained her social work qualification. She has been a registered social worker since 2005 and has been working in mental health and the social sector for over a decade.
Kelly led the pilot project for Asian Mental Health Services for the Waitemata District Health Board in 2007 and over the past ten year has been involved in many Asian projects and consultations.
She implemented an Asian clinical psychological service in 2013 and led the development of the Chinese and Korean ‘Incredible Year Parenting Training Programme.’
Kelly was also involved in the design of the Asian Mental Health Consumer Survey methodology which aimed to increase the uptake of consumer participation in 2014. She is passionate about the Asian community.
Pesio has a Bachelor of Marketing and Business, a Post Grad Diploma in Health Promotion and is a Member of DAPAANZ.
She is Samoan born and New Zealand raised with a background in Pacific tertiary education and Pacific media and marketing.
She started at the PGF Group in 2003 and has had various roles as Health Promotions Advisor, Public Health Practice Leader and is currently Pacific Manager of Mapu Maia Services and the Public Health Manager.
Pesio has been working with Pacific communities for the past 20 years and in particular within public health and workforce development.
In 2001 Pesio developed the first Pacific Gambling Project in Manukau with Pacificare Trust as the Project Manager. Her role was to develop Pacific public health programs in Manukau.
In 2002 Pesio took up the role as Pacific Co-ordinator for Niu Developments National Pacific Gambling project and developed the national public health strategies for problem gambling.
Pesio currently delivers the Pacific training for the Te Kakano public health project and is a member of various advisory, organising and steering committees along with other Pacific and non-Pacific providers. She is an elected board member of the Health Promotion Forum of NZ.
Bridgitte started working at the PGF Group in 2011 as the Southern Regional Practice Leader, then held the position of National Clinical Practice Leader before moving into her current role in 2017. Bridgitte is passionate about helping people and bringing out the best in her team. She especially enjoys working with complexity, diversity and change. Bridgitte has been dedicated to maintaining and growing PGF’s professional counselling services and believes strongly in PGF Services being a proficient service.
Bridgitte is a Registered Social Worker with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB), a qualified alcohol and drug counsellor and Member of the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa (DAPAANZ). She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work in 2011 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Drug Dependence in 1993. Bridgitte has been working in the addiction sector since 1990 and in the gambling sector since 1999. Her knowledge, experience, and passion for the sector has enabled her to have a successful and rewarding career in the addiction field.
Andrée has a Graduate Diploma in Communications and Public Relations from Auckland University of Technology.
She has worked in Communications and Public Relations for over 15 years in both the public and private sector before joining the PGF Group in May 2009.
Andrée is a member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.
Graham has worked in the health sector for 35 years. Most of this time has been spent working in, and consulting to, organisations like the latter-day District Health Boards (DHBs). Earlier work included marketing and industrial engineering roles.
Graham has managed large organisations and consulted on issues of structure and efficiency. His background in operational research has helped him develop a practice in computer modelling and statistical analysis.
At times Graham has accepted roles that included advising Cabinet Ministers, DHB Board members and senior Ministry of Health (MoH) staff.
His major learning experience in working for the PGF Group is that greed is alive and well in the international gambling industry, and that lateral thinking is required to deal with the widespread problems this causes.
Graham has an M Com from Auckland University.
Bernie Quin is the Director of Finance and Corporate Services for the PGF Group.
Bernie has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accounting Finance from Massey University.
He joined the PGF Group team in 2010.
Richard was a Member of Parliament for nine years and chaired the Regulations Review and three other Select Committees.
He was a Governing Body member of the Auckland Council and chaired the Accountability and Performance of Council and CCOs Committee.
Richard was chair of the Auckland District Council of Social Services for 15 years and was an Auckland City Councillor for 17 years.
For 10 years Richard chaired the Auckland/Northland Zone of Local Government New Zealand.
He chairs the Auckland Community Housing Trust.
Richard is an elected member of the Waitemata Local Board. He has chaired the PGF Group Board for 12 of the last 15 years.
Elsie is Honorary Academic and former Associate Professor in the School of Population Health of the University of Auckland.
She is also Research Associate of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment (CRESA).
She is a leading expert in migration and mental health studies in New Zealand and has been involved in a number of government advisory groups.
Elsie has strong links with Asian ethnic communities and in 2007 she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to migrant communities.
Neavin descends from the Taranaki region and many of the Taranaki iwi. Work wise, he provides Māori cultural support and advice to a range of organisations ranging from government to private through to community groups. With a background in education, health promotion and the Treaty of Waitangi he works on projects that are designed to inspire passion in peoples’ culture.
Neavin is an avid supporter of Te Aute College and lives by the motto – Whakatangata Kia Kaha!
If asked to sum up his life, he can do this in six words – My Wife, My Kids, My Life.
Uesifili is an ordained minister in the Methodist Church of New Zealand. He is currently an Ecumenical Chaplain at the North Shore Hospital.
Uesifili has interest in national and international political processes having completed post-graduate studies in U.S foreign policies post World War II and New Zealand political history.
In 2013 he received the U.S State Department’s International Visitor Leadership award for his community advocacy work in New Zealand.
Sandra has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles with iconic New Zealand brands specialising in marketing strategy, digital transformation and organisational expansion.
She is currently the Chief Executive for the Middlemore Foundation, the charitable trust associated with the Counties Manukau District Health Board. Alongside her role as Board Member for the PGF Group, she also sits on the APAC Advisory Board.
Fred is a Chartered Accountant and a senior experienced Chief Financial Officer with broad and in-depth exposure to aged care and retirement village industry, manufacturing and trading environment, in both corporate and charitable sectors.
He was previously the Chief Financial officer for The Selwyn Foundation for 14 years. He had also worked in senior roles for Carter Holt Harvey, Lane Walker Rudkin as well as a stint overseas in Thailand.
He is currently employed in the aged care and retirement village sector and provides consultancy services in a variety of areas.
Peter has been a member and Chair of Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB), Chair of the national DHBs, and Deputy Chair of Capital and Coast DHB. He has also set up a new national body – Hui E! – that seeks to promote, strengthen and connect the Community Sector.
Peter has been a Wellington Regional Councillor and was Deputy Chair responsible for Public Transport, Economic Development and Flood Management.
He has over 40 years of wide ranging community sector leadership experience including managing a Hutt Valley community health service and a national primary health network – Health Care Aotearoa.
Peter’s focus is on building strong, healthy and just communities throughout Aotearoa.