Minister of Education Chris Hipkins is disputing a claim from Greens co-leader James Shaw he gave “verbal sign-off” for the Green School proposal, describing it as a mischaracterisation.
A leaked video shows Shaw telling party members he got the okay from Hipkins in a conversation they had before the controversial bid was signed off.
Shaw’s been in damage control since infuriating party supporters, schools and unions with his strong advocacy for the nearly $12 million application for the private school.
The expansion project was approved by a group of wider ministers under a $3 billion infrastructure fund – they say Shaw should take full responsibility as the sole advocate for the bid.
That advocacy extended to threatening to block at least 44 projects, earmarked for $600m of funding, unless it was given the green light.
While Hipkins had no involvement in the ministerial approval, in the video, Shaw