Problem gambling services

Service Types

The Ministry contracts a range of problem gambling services:

  • Problem gambling intervention services.
  • Problem gambling public health services.

These services are contracted through a range of generic and population specific providers, ie, Māori, Pacific, Asian, Mainstream.

Find out more on the following problem gambling services:


The system of intervention adopted by the Ministry is based on a multi-modal approach and acknowledges the widespread impact of problem gambling on the individual and their family and affected others.

The Intervention Services purchased by the Ministry comprise a combination of service types including:

  • helpline and information services
  • brief interventions
  • full interventions
  • facilitation services
  • follow-up services.

Full details of outcomes, objectives and activities for each of the above services are contained in the following documents.

Public Health

Primary preventions and programmes can contribute to strengthening a community’s capacity and readiness to advocate for healthy social, physical, spiritual and cultural environments.

Public health activities include:

  • promoting healthy public policy
  • developing personal skills and promoting responsible gambling behaviour
  • increasing individual and community awareness and action
  • creating supportive environments
  • strengthening strategic alliances, skills and knowledge
  • monitoring, research and evaluation
  • reorienting services and programmes

The Ministry has contracts with providers to deliver all or some of the above service delivery components.

Infrastructure services

These service lines are namely:

  • kaumātua consultation and liaison
    • to provide an environment that is culturally safe for Māori service users, their whānau and significant others, as well as those delivering the services.
  • workforce development
    • to support service staff to access appropriate training and workforce development opportnuities and attend national and regional hui and conferences.
  • participation in research and evaluation
    • to support providers to participate in and support Ministry-approved research and evaluation processes.

The outcomes from the above will ensure that:

  • all problem gambling services will have the capacity, skills and relationships to work effectively and appropriately with and for Māori
  • the problem gambling workforce is well trained, motivated and supported to deliver effective, high quality, sustainable public health and intervention activities
  • the practices and theories of the Problem Gambling sector are informed by an up to date and sound evidence base.

National coordination

The coordination service is currently contracted through Hapai Te Hauora Tapui.

The NCS is a central point for disseminating key messages and information across the problem gambling provider sector, ensures problem gambling providers across the range of services are kept informed of significant developments, and assists collaboration among agencies involved in preventing and minimising gambling-related harm,

For more information refer to: Hapai Te Hauora Tapui

Education awareness

The Ministry have engaged the Health Promotion Agency to develop and lead the national problem gambling education and awareness campaign. The goal of the campaign is to increase the quality of life of New Zealanders by strengthening society's understanding, awareness of, and response to gambling and preventing and reducing gambling harm. The problem gambling programme also focuses on implementing targeted strategies to change behaviours that place people and communities at risk of gambling harm.

To find out more about the campaign, please go to the Choice Not Chance website.

Procurement and process

In addition the Ministry is also bound by other State Sector Purchasing Policies, eg: ‘Treasury Guidelines for Contracting with NGOs’.

New services are generally purchased via an open and contestable process which is advertised and processed through the State Sector Government Electronic Tender Service website (GETS).

Ministry procurement is governed by the following principles:


  • be accountable for performance and able to give complete and accurate accounts of how public funds have been used, including funds passed on to others for particular purposes
  • ensuring suitable governance and management arrangements in place to oversee funding arrangements


  • transparency in administration of funds

Value for Money

  • use resources effectively, economically and without waste
  • due regard for total costs and benefits over the whole life of an arrangement and its contribution to the strategic outcomes the entity is trying to achieve
  • take into account possible economies of scale and increased purchasing power
  • maximisation of operational efficiency and improving the Ministry’s business capabilities


  • act within the law and meet legal obligations


  • full and fair opportunity for domestic and international suppliers
  • open, effective and fair competition between suppliers


  • procurement is conducted with integrity
  • ethical, reasonable and commercially astute behaviour


  • robust documentation of approvals and tender processes

Problem gambling workforce

One of the objectives of the Ministry’s Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm 2019/20–2021/22 is to enhance workforce development.

The Ministry supports workforce development by allocating a proportion of its funding to non-government organisations for workforce development. This allows problem gambling staff working for Ministry-funded problem gambling service providers to put aside some time each year to undertake training and further develop their skills.

Currently the Ministry contract with ABACUS (Counselling, Training & Supervision Ltd) to provide support to clinical psychosocial intervention staff, and Te Kakano (led by Hapai Te Hauora Tapui) to train the problem gambling primary prevention public health workforce.

These services are integral to achieving the Ministry’s strategic objectives to develop a skilled workforce to deliver effective services to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

As part of the services delivered for the Ministry, ABACUS and Te Kakano are responsible for:

  • commenting on emerging trends in the sector
  • identifying and/or analysing recently released research findings, and
  • updating providers on workforce development training opportunities.

Competency standards

Public health

Generic public health competencies have been developed by the Public Health Association of New Zealand.

The generic competencies for public health were developed to provide a minimum baseline set of competencies common to all public health roles across the public health disciplines, including the problem gambling public health sector.

The Ministry is exploring the development of specific problem gambling public health competencies that will build on, and align with, the generic public health competencies.

Intervention (problem gambling counselling)

The broader addiction treatment workforce has been reviewed to identify the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver effective co-existing treatment services. Work has been undertaken to identify a core set of common competencies, and acknowledge specialist skills required specific to unique addictions and to problem gambling.

Back to top