30 Sep 2014

Charter schools not my call - Seymour

10:42 am on 30 September 2014

ACT Party's sole MP David Seymour says it won't be up to him whether the party's policy on charter schools will go ahead. He says that decision is up to the Minister of Education.

Mr Seymour has been appointed Under Secretary to the Minster of Education and Minister of Regulatory Reform.

Act MP David Seymour

Act MP David Seymour Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

He said he wants to progress charter schools further by offering the model to all schools in New Zealand, but even though he is now the Under Secretary to the Minster of Education, it is not his decision if ACT's plan goes ahead.

Mr Seymour said he will, however, be pushing for the policy to be adopted.

The Post Primary Teachers Association, meanwhile, has said ACT has a disproportionate amount of power over New Zealand's education system.

President Angela Roberts said Mr Seymour wants to make the charter schools model available to every school which is ridiculous considering the ACT party received just 0.7 percent of the vote.

Earlier Prime Minister John Key and Mr Seymour were at odds over whether Mr Seymour requested a ministerial role during their negotiations.

The two finalised a confidence and supply agreement yesterday making Mr Seymour a parliamentary under-secretary for two ministers. The position is more junior than either a minister or associate minister.

Mr Key said at the announcement that Mr Seymour did not ask for a ministerial posting. But just hours later, Mr Seymour told Checkpoint that he did ask.

Deal will not sway Dunne on RMA

United Future leader Peter Dunne, who will be appointed a minister outside cabinet in exchange for his party's support on confidence and supply, said his deal with the National government will not sway his opposition to proposed changes to the Resource Management Act.

National wants to overhaul the RMA, but failed to get the necessary backing last term from either Mr Dunne or the Maori Party .

National no longer needs their support to push ahead with the changes, but Mr Key said he is still keen to win them over.

Mr Dunne said he objects to changes to the act's core principles, will wait to see the final proposal but, as it stands, he can not vote for it.