PGF wouldn’t fund Green school

This looks like a continuation of the campaign scrap between NZ First and Greens, who appeared to be trying their hardest to mutually destruct.

It appears that Shane Jones has fed a story to Newshub (PGF applications mustn’t be confidential: Green School previously turned down for Provincial Growth Fund cash

Newshub can reveal the nearly $12 million of taxpayer money netted by the controversial Green School wasn’t the first time they’d tried to dip into the public purse.

The Green School – now one of New Zealand’s most well-known schools for all the wrong reasons.

And it scored millions of dollars of Government funding signed off by Green Party co-leader James Shaw in his capacity as Associate Finance Minister – a decision at odds with the Green Party’s policy to phase out funding for private schools.

Shaw has described it as “an error of judgment for which I apologise”.

It turns out Shaw’s error of judgment – demanding the green light for the Green School’s request for cash – wasn’t the school’s first rodeo.

“The Green School made an application to the Provincial Growth Fund. It was rapidly nixed,” says NZ First MP Shane Jones, who oversees the PGF as Regional Economic Development Minister.

A document obtained by Newshub under the Official Information Act shows the school had a crack at getting far less funding last year but failed.

It wanted just under $1m – that was declined. But when it applied for 12 times that – the funding was approved.

“James got his nose out of joint and fought for it to be restored through the shovel-ready money,” Jones says.

The application was refused partly because it wouldn’t create sustainable new jobs. The school’s now promising to create 200 jobs.

In the 2019 application – for a fraction of the funding – the school was promising in excess of 100 new jobs.

Documents say: “the applicant estimates that the project will bring in around [redacted] in economic benefit on annual basis and will create at least 100 jobs linked to the project.”

But officials in the Provincial Development Unit which determines PGF funding were sceptical.

“The success of the Bali operation may not be an appropriate indication of the likelihood of success for a venture based in Taranaki. There is insufficient market research to justify that it will be successful.”

It may be that after failing with the PGF application the Green School did more work on their market research, or on the presentation of their application.

Jones declared on Newshub Nation he was determined to kill off his Government sibling.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure the Greens do not survive,” he said.

So this looks like a hit job by Jones. His problem is that he is performing poorly in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, and polls suggest that NZ First is struggling to get near the 5% threshold, so NZ First are at real risk this election.

I think that this sort of minor party conflict is likely to drag both parties down.

Leave a comment


  1. John J Harrison

     /  21st September 2020

    Absolutely delicious.
    Both the Greens and NZ First are out to destroy each other.
    The pertinent point is that the first application was for less than a $ million which is within Jones remit to approve or decline.
    Above that number it goes to the cabinet committee.
    So Jones can take full credit for seeing through this debacle – create 100 jobs – utter crap !
    But Robertson, Clark et al comprising the committee should be collectively exposed as kow – towing to the rabid Greens.
    Hopefully after the election these custodians of our taxes and the PGF will be no more.

    • Blazer

       /  21st September 2020

      What a breath of fresh air to see Shaw admit he wouldn’;t do it in retrospect.

    • Duker

       /  21st September 2020

      The final approval WASNT as a PGF proposal, it was a Covid- Shovel ready
      “The application was among 150 shovel-ready projects signed-off from the $3 billion infrastructure pot in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.”
      Harrison gets himself in a muddle again.

      • John J Harrison

         /  21st September 2020

        Duker, quiet correct.
        The salient point is that this was approved by the Labour intellectual “ heavyweights.”

        • Duker

           /  21st September 2020

          I understand they didnt but Shaw wouldnt agree to any other projects unless the school was on the list.
          meanwhile the Charter schools blew away $50 mill for nothing as even the best run of them still had the 20% leaving without qualifications…which was supposed to be the raison d’etre..or so that well known teacher and educator David Seymour said…cough . More likely Jenny Gibbs wanted it…as most ACT voters want vouchers fro private schools they are sending their kids too

          • John J Harrison

             /  21st September 2020

            Duker, if the Labour intellectual “ heavyweights “ did not approve the $12 million for the Green school, kindly advise who did.
            Thanking you in anticipation.

            • Blazer

               /  21st September 2020

              Just wondering JJ….does National have any…’intellectual heavyweights’?

            • John J Harrison

               /  21st September 2020

              Blazer, just wondering, can either you or Duker answer the question ?
              Or is this yet another of your increasing failed deflect efforts.

            • Blazer

               /  21st September 2020

              @JJ…did you miss D’s answer?

              ‘The application was among 150 shovel-ready projects signed-off from the $3 billion infrastructure pot in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.”

          • Arrant nonsense about most ACT supporters and private schools; you have totally misunderstood the voucher system.

            • Duker

               /  21st September 2020

              yes I do. Rather than funding the schools they give a ‘voucher’ to the parents , rich or poor.
              Those paying $35,000 for Kings College would get a voucher for $11,000 pa which is what say Otahuhu College next door would charge but only 1/3 of the Kings fees.
              “A working group of MPs from National, ACT and the Maori Party has asked that parents of the 20 per cent worst performing and five per cent best performing students be given greater choice about how and where the child is educated and taking their Government funding with them.”
              That was when they had more than one MP – but back stabbing was the primary past time , or using the Waka jumping law to force out an MP…oh dear.
              National has taken over the cutting off of MPs at the knees, 3 in the last parliament

          • The parents don’t get the money, the school does. It’s a simple transfer of the cost of a year’s education.

            If you understand this, and have admitted it, why are you making insinuations about people as if they gain from it ?

            You seem to be coughing a lot at the moment; have you considered going to see your GP about this ?

  2. duperez

     /  21st September 2020

    Jones is a lumpy man in a Warehouse backyard swimming pool small plastic paddle boat.

    Trouble is it’s not in a gentle pool, it’s in tumbling turf. He sees the Greens in a bigger sturdier craft in less choppy waters with a glimpse of calm ahead and he’s hoping like hell that when he drowns they drown with him.

    The inevitable panic sees the bon bivant loquacity gone for the rural, “Drown ya bastards!”

    And next year we’ll read of his resurrection to appointments on this board and that.

    • Duker

       /  21st September 2020

      Drown ?
      Greens voting demographic only 50% vote , while NZ First demographic is closer to 80%.
      The polls dont weigh the results based on previous voting history ( which they do in US) just demographics.


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