September 02, 2020
Shovel ready building up inequality
Māori Party candidate Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom deserves some of the blame for the green school controversy that has engulfed Greens co-leader, James Shaw.
Mr Holdom lobbied Mr Shaw over the project to build a private school teaching eco-values at Oakura, which has been earmarked to get $11 million in loans and grants from the shovel ready infrastructure fund.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer, a former South Taranaki deputy mayor, says she has let both men know the depth of community opposition to it.
She says it highlights deeper problems with the Government’s shovel-ready programme.
"This shovel ready stuff has got to stop being an excuse for racism and we've got to start making sure shovel ready is addressing inequities and everyone is being treated fairly, otherwise we will be forever sidelined watching those who have a great relationship with the mayor or a great relationship with a minister," Ms Ngarewa-Packer says.
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