Greens under fire for $11m private school funding

A curious change has been noticed to a Green farm rule:

Private schools shall never be funded. unless it’s a Green school


A Beehive announcement by Green leader James Shaw: Taranaki school construction project to create jobs

Green School New Zealand will be supported with $11.7 million from the $3 billion set aside by the Government for infrastructure in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“This project will create hundreds of quality jobs, meaning more people can continue to provide for their families whilst we weather the economic storm of the pandemic crisis. These jobs will provide a good day’s pay, doing meaningful work, building a better future for Taranaki.

“Securing over 200 jobs will help direct more money into the parts of the economy where most people earn their livelihood. These are the parts of the economy that are sustained when public investment is directed at getting people into work and earning money that they then spend in their local communities,” James Shaw said.

The ‘shovel-ready’ project will enable Green School to expand its student roll from 120 students to 250. It is estimated that a roll of 250 students will contribute $43 million each year for the local economy.

RNZ: Anger at funding for Taranaki Green School

The Educational Institute says teachers are fuming at Green Party co-leader James Shaw’s announcement of an 11.7 million dollar funding package for in a private school in Taranaki.

Shaw says the ‘shovel ready’ project at the Green School in Oakura is part of the Covid-19 economic response and will secure 200 jobs.

The union’s national secretary, Paul Goulter told our Taranaki Whanganui reporter Robin Martin the investment flies in the face of Green Party policy.

Prominent in the Green Party Education Policy:

  • Public funding for private schools should be phased out and transferred to public schools.
  • Public-private partnerships should not be used for building or running schools.

No funding of private schools has been longstanding Green policy.

Ex Green MP Sue Bradford:

Ex Green candidate John Hart:

Ex Green MP Catherine Delahunty:

Green candidate Ricardo Mendez:

Ex Green Party candidate Jack McDonald:

RNZ: Critics pile on Green private school funding boost

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is distancing himself from an $11.7 million boost for a Taranaki private school after the National Party panned the taxpayer funding as “rank hypocrisy”.

The move has attracted ire from numerous quarters, including the oppositionschool principals, unions, and from within the Greens’ own ranks.

Responding to reporters at Parliament, Hipkins ducked responsibility, stressing that the money did not come out of the education funding pool.

“It wasn’t considered through the usual education capital spend route. It was considered as a shovel-ready project.”

Hipkins deferred questions to the Ministers responsible and noted that the Green Party had advocated “quite strongly” for the funding.

“It was one of their wins, if you like, out of the shovel-ready project area,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a project that I would’ve prioritised.”

Stuff: Green members demand ‘please explain’ for $11.7m private school funding 

James Shaw calls meeting with Green members to explain private school funding decision

Green party co-leader James Shaw has been asked by party members to explain why his name appeared on a press release announcing $11.7 million of public funding for a private school.

“It’s not perfect but if you’re trying to achieve a number of objectives it achieves a number of those: it creates a number of jobs in the region, it supports the green building industry, and it’s in Taranaki, the region we’re trying to move on from oil and gas,” Shaw said.

Last night, Policy and Party co-conveners – the part of the Green Party that looks after the wider membership – requested “information and clarification” from the caucus over how the project got approval

Wiremu Winitana, one of the party’s co-convenors, told an online forum that the co-leaders, Shaw and Marama Davidson had been asked to explain and clarify the situation.

“We are inclined to agree… that this is against our policy,” Winitana said.

Shaw will front a Zoom with co-leader Marama Davidson Friday night to explain the decision to members.

An email to members said that the party understood they were feeling “frustrated or disappointed,” by the decision to grant the school funding.

That email would appear to have gone to party members only and not to the wider contact list.

The funding decision probably can’t be changed, so all Shaw can do is try to keep explaining. He has done a poor job of that so far.

Coming up to an election campaign this is poor timing for this sort of fundamental policy hypocrisy. Greens have been polling close to the 5% MMP threshold and are risk of being dumped from Parliament, especially with this sort of policy embarrassment.

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43 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  28th August 2020

    What a load of crap the Greens spin.
    I call out BS on the jobs created and the financial “ return.”
    Greens rank hypocrisy is only enabled by the loathsome support of Labour ministers.
    Utterly disgraceful!

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th August 2020

      And what about the $930 mill Joyce thought was a good to buy ‘preference shares’ in Chorus a private company back in 2011 or so.
      Does it show that National has rank hypocrisy about its free enterprise credentials. Its almost creating a new SOE , one that had been previously sold because ….
      Harrison closes a blind eye when its blue hypocrisy….
      Doesnt excuse money Shaw decided should go to private schools. Its even worse than appears on surface as the long standing government policy is NOT to fund buildings for private schools that are ‘integrated’. The teachers and operational costs get money only.

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  28th August 2020

        Duker, clearly you suffer from a lack of sleep with that diatribe.
        Have a cup of tea and a lie down.
        Be kind !

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  28th August 2020

          ‘Have a cup of tea and a lie down.’

          Certainly put Muller…to bed!Bol.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th August 2020

          Surely you hate all political hypocrisy Harrison ?…or supporting the National party means it doenst have any enduring principles to worry your silver head about

          Reply
          • Chorus is a business that makes a profit.

            This is an environmental school and a private one whose fees are more than many people earn.

            Yes, the tradies will benefit, which is good, but the people who wanted this school should have been the ones to fork out the $11,000,000+.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  28th August 2020

              Why does it need the Government as a shareholder some 20 years after we sold out of telecom …I always knew we would have to buy these things back eventually …so it came to pass for Air NZ, The railways and the local lines/exchanges part of Telecom known as Chorus

            • Blazer

               /  28th August 2020

              Where do you think the ACT Party would be without the sell off of Telecom?
              (non existent)

            • ACT wasn’t in existence then ! It was 30 years ago !

      • That makes no sense at all.

        Reply
    • Fight4nz

       /  28th August 2020

      Has James finally decided if you can’t beat them you might as well join your lot JJH?

      Tea? No thanks, I’m good.

      Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  28th August 2020

    It costs $5,300 just to register and $24,000 in tuition fees for NZ students or $43,000 for foreign students.

    So it’s throwing more taxpayer money towards rich people. Shaw would argue its a better sort of rich person I guess.

    Reply
  3. David

     /  28th August 2020

    Bye bye Green party. You would think with the amount of resources he has with a whole ministry he could have spent the last 4 months when not a lot was going on to design a green element to the curriculum and maybe helped kids who arnt the children of millionaires.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  28th August 2020

      I wonder if James is setting himself up for a new political career should the Greens be put out to orgainc pasture?

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th August 2020

    Every other “Green” project needs taxpayer money to pretend it’s viable so why not education? That’s as far as Green-think can manage.

    Reply
  5. Corky

     /  28th August 2020

    I love this from Sue Bradford.

    ”How about job creation with low income schools, rather than a hand out to the scions of green wealth?”

    Them wellfy Greenies don’t want us Righties having all the fun….and the wealth.

    The phrase ”Shovel Ready” is interesting. It fascinates me how these phrases all of a sudden pop up in our media.

    Wiki

    ”Writing for The Washington Post, writer Manuel Roig-Franzia sardonically suggested that the phrase did not exist and had never before been used until President Barack Obama used it during an interview with Meet the Press on 6 December 2008.”

    The other phrase is ”conference.” One moment New Zealand has rugby competitions…the next it’s rugby conferences. What does that mean using sports terminology?

    Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  28th August 2020

    Terrible timing by the Greens.

    Practicing a policy of expediency over ideology is not what they are admired for!

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th August 2020

      NZ First almost got caught out by ignoring its party policy over the negotiations over euthanasia. The party chief of staff and Tracy Martin had a deal with Little that seem to forget the party policy included a referendum for such a change, the caucus overturned the preliminary agreement and Tracy Martin had egg on face.
      Shaw talks about budget secrecy but that was months back, surely he told his caucus after budget night and they could have ditched the proposal then if it wasnt to their liking, but of course ex Mps have no say in that….has Davidson gone all quiet ?

      Reply
  7. artcroft

     /  28th August 2020

    From the sounds of it, the Greens might be entering the election with just the one leader as well. So long James, hello Marama. Interesting times.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  28th August 2020

      Mariana, the Maori wahine who’s claim to fame is for wahine to reclaim the special C—- word.
      Simply cannot believe that we pay this creature to represent us.
      Apparently there is a very well written letter from a New Plymouth principal circulating, addressed to Ardern , and tearing her apart for her Labour ministers approving this largess.
      Fantastic !

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  28th August 2020

        Mariana is a figment of your redneck ..imagination.

        Reply
        • John J Harrison

           /  28th August 2020

          I sincerely wish Marama was a figment of our collective imagination.
          Sadly, she did make that claim which was well publicized at the time.
          I fully realize that this does not assist your political leanings.
          If you missed her demand that wahine reclaim the C—- word then I can only assume your sole source of news is from comic books.
          Have a wonderful evening with a bottle or two of plonk.
          It may well assist your memory.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th August 2020

            Try Cold Duck…plonkers became wine connossieurs …on it.

            Reply
            • Cold Duck was I think the first wine I tried. It wasn’t a good experience.

            • It was a bit old hat by the time I was old enough to drink wine, but I don’t think that I missed much.I remember Velluto Rosso.

              Stone’s Green Ginger Wine was still appearing at student parties; vile stuff. It must have been very cheap. I think that it’s still around.A university friend had something called Barry’s Barbecue Red in Australia and never forgot it.

            • Blazer

               /  28th August 2020

              Stones Green Ginger wine ,Blackberry Nip and Velluto Rosso (solo mothers handbag)…were responsible for a huge rise in pregnancies for…unmarried mothers.

            • Duker

               /  28th August 2020

              Cold Duck…..you conniseur….even less palatable was Brother Dominic, truth in labelling meant they had to call it a dry white beverage..without the word wine in it.

            • No, Blazer. Wine doesn’t make women pregnant.

              You can probably find out what does cause this if you google it.

              HINT: it takes two people, a man and a woman.

  8. The timing of this handout could hardly be worse. Does James Shaw not realise that we are in debt for an amount that won’t be paid back in his lifetime and that people are suffering real hardship as a result of the CoL’s sloppiness over C19 testing ?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  28th August 2020

      ‘ we are in debt for an amount that won’t be paid back in his lifetime’…who do we owe?

      Reply
      • You must be the only person to have missed the fact that the government has borrowed (140?) billion.

        I don’t know who was the lender, but they will want it back and will be charging interest.

        Had you not heard about the borrowed billions? How do you think that the wages sub has been paid?

        This gift to a rich private school is an insult to the people who are suffering real hardship in NZ now.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  28th August 2020

          ‘Had you not heard about the borrowed billions? ‘…no I haven’t….surely people ‘in the know’ can say who it was borrowed ..from!

          Reply
          • You MUST have heard that the CoL has borrowed billions to keep the economy staggering along. No one can NOT have heard that this happened.

            How have you managed to miss this news ? Where did you think the money for the wages subs comes from ? The Beehive printing press ?

            The PM hasn’t told us where the borrowed money came from, as far as I know.

            Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th August 2020

          Reserve Bank created the money, ….I think the government has only spent a fraction of it.
          Same goes for Australia,UK, USA and even EU…

          No need to worry Kitti your pension is being paid with the instant coffee money…

          Reply
  1. A number of ‘shovel ready’ funding decisions “made in haste” and “not high quality” | Your NZ
  2. More Green School problems | Your NZ

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