There were at least 44 infrastructure projects awaiting Green Party co-leader James Shaw's approval when he emailed ministerial colleagues to draw a line in the sand over the Green School.
The projects are collectively worth about $1.3 billion, of which the Government contribution is earmarked at $600 million.
Shaw is now being accused of "hypocrisy" and "disgraceful" tactics by the Opposition for potentially putting that funding and hundreds of jobs at risk by appearing to refuse to sign off the projects unless the private school was included.
But tonight Shaw said he was not giving an ultimatum, but merely asking questions about a number of projects he was supporting.
Yesterday Shaw apologised for his "error in judgment" in advocating for the $11.7m funding for the school, but added that it wasn't an offence worth resigning over.
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That was before an email - obtained by Newshub - surfaced that went to Government ministers and the Treasury from Shaw's office last month.
"Minister Shaw won't sign this briefing [of infrastructure projects] until the Green School in Taranaki is incorporated," the email dated August 7 said.
"Sorry to be the spanner-in-the-works, but if we can get the project included, he'll sign everything this afternoon."
Projects in the Government's $3 billion infrastructure fund need approval from Shaw, who is Associate Finance Minister, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Associate Finance Minister David Parker, and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones.
Robertson said the email from Shaw's office was not about all of the projects in the $3b fund because some had already been approved.
His office later confirmed that 118 projects had been signed off at the time of the email, and 162 projects were approved by August 28, meaning at least 44 projects were pending final approval when the email was sent.
Comparing the list of approved projects from August 6 and from August 28 reveals that Government funding for those 44 projects totalled just over $600m.
Robertson wouldn't be drawn on whether the email amounted to a threat from Shaw.
"He used those words and he has to be responsible for them.
"The whole [$3b] project wasn't at risk. We were continuing the process of tidying up the loose ends.
"Clearly he put his view forward very strongly. It is the nature of Coalition Governments that different parties will put their views forward."
But National Party leader Judith Collins said that Shaw should resign over his "ultimatum" email.
"James Shaw was willing to play politics with his own Government at a time when contractors, councils and workers were crying out for work. I think he's put at risk people's jobs.
She said that Shaw had exhibited "absolute rank hypocrisy" because it was a private school - the Greens oppose funding private schools - which was yet to be registered.
She added that Shaw had painted NZ First as a handbrake on progress when his email appeared to be a handbrake on infrastructure jobs unless the Green School application was backed.
Act leader David Seymour said Shaw's email was "absolutely breathtaking".
"It's outrageous that somebody else from the Government has clearly leaked those details. This is not the sort of togetherness New Zealanders expect from their Government at this time."
Shaw and all Green MPs avoided media on their way to Question Time today.
He later released a statement suggesting he was withholding sign-off until he knew more about many projects, including the Green School.
"I didn't sign off that final list, which included the Green School, until I was satisfied that all of my questions about a range of projects had been answered," he said in a statement.
"The first infrastructure projects were announced over five weeks before I signed the briefing that included the Green School, so to suggest I was holding up the process is absurd."
He later added: "To suggest that by asking questions I was giving an ultimatum is absurd."
Asked about Shaw's email, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were different views in a Coalition Government.
She told The Country that she didn't think the issue would see the Greens - hovering at the 5 per cent threshold in many polls - fail to return to Parliament.