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.”
It was an attempt by the school to market it as a tourism attraction like its counterpart in Bali. The documents outline the school’s proposal “to support the building of tourist amenity infrastructure (visitor centre and café)”.
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.”
The claims are so nonsensical that it was of course right for PGF officials to turn down the funding. The notion that tourists will flock from all over the world to visit Taranaki because of the Green School is farcical.
But alas for the taxpayers James Shaw gave them 12 times as much.