Education Minister Anne Tolley says the school system has to be flexible enough to allow schools to offer the qualifications that best suit their students.
Auckland Grammar School last week announced it is to use Cambridge University exams instead of NCEA for 90% of its Year 11 pupils.
The minister says as long as NCEA is still available and parents understand the change, Grammar is entitled to recommend the Cambridge syllabus.
Mrs Tolley says there is no harm in changing the qualification if the students are focused, engaged and successful in their learning.
She says boys often learn better in competitive systems like the Cambridge examinations.