More than 100 Hokianga pupils have missed their first day of term after a school bus contract was scrapped at short notice.
The Ministry of Education terminated its contract with Auckland Bus company PBC Party Bus on Friday - after spot checks revealed some of its buses were unsafe.
Replacement buses have been found for most routes.
But schools at Panguru, Broadwood and Kohukohu in Hokianga had no bus service on Tuesday and many pupils stayed home.
The ministry has arranged for Bowmans Buses - which earlier lost the contract to the Auckland company - to resume the school run from Wednesday.