A school principal in Whangarei says a proposed law change aimed at providing meals for students in poorer schools could reinforce negative stereotypes.
The Education Amendment Bill, proposed by Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, would ensure the state funds breakfast and lunch for all students at schools with a decile one or two rating.
Horahora Primary principal Pat Newman said that may send a message that all parents with children at poorer schools don't feed them properly.
He said it does not cost his school a lot to step in when it needs to, discretely offering breakfast and sandwiches to individual students in need.
Mr Newman said he appreciates the sentiment of the bill, but it would use up funding that low decile schools need for other things.
He said his school also takes advantage of existing Government schemes to provide pupils with milk and fruit.