Did James Shaw actually fund a housing development?

Stuff reports:

It’s been revealed the Taranaki at the centre of a political funding row has aspirations to create an ‘eco-village’ at its Ōakura site including 20 houses.

This is news to the Green Party co-leader , who says he knew nothing about it before granting the school nearly $12 million.

This would be funny, if it were not our money.

The school was planning to expand anyway, to 500 students. The $40,000 they charge overseas students would have funded the school expansion.

But James came along and gave them $12 million for nothing, to fund the school expansion.

This frees up $12 million from the owners, that they can use for their housing development.

The Green School also declined an interview.

In a statement, it said it had always been open about plans for the eco-village and they were not required as part of the Shovel Ready funding application.

“The plans refer to an eco-village housing area that has been in the public domain since the inception of Green School and shared openly with anyone interested in the project. It is a matter of public record.”

But there is no public record of the eco-village. It is not mentioned on the Green School website, in council documents or in previous media coverage about the school.

The school later clarified that the village has been mentioned in verbal briefings to people who have expressed an interest.

It said the development was in its early stages and would help relieve demands on rental property in Taranaki.

“There is a mix of housing available for school parents and the open market whereby they will be available for anyone looking to move into the area.

“These sustainable homes, of which there will be approximately 20, will be physically located on the other side of the road and away from the Green School campus.”

Mentioning something in a verbal briefing is not making it public.

So we’ve really given $12 million to property developers. Well done NZ Green Party.

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