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Green School’s expansion project is set to finish mid-2023


Taranaki’s Green School expansion project has cost $3.6m out of the $11.7m loan it was given in 2020.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Taranaki’s Green School expansion project has cost $3.6m out of the $11.7m loan it was given in 2020.

The near $12m project to upgrade Taranaki’s environmentally driven Green School is set to be completed by the middle of next year.

The private school, which was controversially granted a Government loan of $11.7m in 2020, has so far spent $3.6m on the construction project.

Principal Caroline Rennie confirmed the money spent had gone towards the futuristic “kina building” which will provide learning spaces for junior students.

“Everything on that [construction] is on track, we are ready for the opening that will be initially in term three, and then we will go into term four,” Rennie said.

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The Kina building is currently under construction and once completed will be a learning space for junior students.

BOON/Stuff

The Kina building is currently under construction and once completed will be a learning space for junior students.

The school, which comes with annual fees of between $16,584 and $43,000, was opened south of New Plymouth in 2020 by Taranaki parents Michael and Rachel Perrett.

Their son attended Green School Bali and found it to be “life-changing education” based on ideals of sharing and caring for the environment through hands-on learning.

In 2020 the school had 55 students and a capacity for 120, but Covid-19 restrictions put an end to new arrivals until recently.

Caroline Rennie, Green School principal, says the construction is on track.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Caroline Rennie, Green School principal, says the construction is on track.

Rennie would not say what the school’s current roll was.

The construction project to expand the school was touted as being able to create 200 jobs and represented a future economic development opportunity in the export education sector.

The funding announcement angered many Taranaki public schools due to the lack of public funds given to them.

ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Marfell Community School acting principal Kealy Warren reads her open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern regarding the Government’s $11.7m funding to Taranaki’s Green School.

In September 2020, Green Pary co-leader James Shaw publicly apologised for the funding saying it was an error of judgment and Green School New Zealand chief executive, Chris Edwards, announced the money was never a grant and 75% was a loan.

Nick Manning, general manager of Government and Industry Affairs, said Crown Infrastructure Partners, which administered the loan, was “satisfied with the repayments that are being made by the Green School pursuant to the funding agreement in place”.

They would no comment on what the interest rate, or structure of the loan, citing “commercial sensitivity”.

The building project is expected to be complete between April and June 2023.



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