14 Aug 2014

Maori Party rejects charter schools call

7:35 pm on 14 August 2014

The Maori Party is rebutting calls by the ACT Party that nine new kura to be built in Auckland should be charter schools.

Pita Sharples.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples. Photo: RNZ

ACT's leader, Jamie Whyte, said the party would press National to introduce the policy, as public schools in Auckland were failing Maori pupils and those who failed NCEA at public state schools were passing with distinction in charter schools.

Despite that, Mr Whyte's party has called for Maori electorates to be done away with and has said they are 'legally privileged'.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, who is also an Associate Education Minister, said the party did not support Mr Whyte's demands for the nine schools to be charter schools.

He said the party supported the idea of charter schools as an experiment and as a new way of doing things, which worked for some schools.

But he said the nine new schools catered to differing needs in the community and there should not be a singular approach.

Dr Sharples said it was contradictory that the Act Party was using Maori success, or the lack of it, as a reason for caring about Maori and charter schools.

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