National Party leader Bill English has slammed Labour's new legislation aimed at scrapping charter schools set up under his government.
Speaking from the National caucus retreat in Tauranga this morning, Mr English was quick to turn his discussion with TVNZ 1 Breakfast host Jack Tame to the proposed Bill which has its first reading in Parliament next week.
"The government has introduced nasty vindictive legislation to close the partnership schools, picking on 1000 kids, the kids are the victims of that.
"There are 1000 kids who are going to get dealt to by Jacinda Ardern, who refuses to look them in the eye and tell them why she is going to close the school they love," he said passionately.
Mr English also said that the closures would hit Maori students particularly hard.
"They are going to close schools that deal with Maori students who don't fit into the system and love their new school," he said.
The proposed law will allow some existing charter schools to continue, decided on a "case by case" basis.
That comes after MPs Kelvin Davis and Willie Jackson said they were in favour of the model. Mr Jackson's Manukau Urban Maori Authority runs a charter school in South Auckland and had plans to open another.
The Bill also puts into law plans to dump National Standards and introduces a penalty for those who lie about their eligibility for free tertiary education.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the bill "ends the previous government's failed National Standards and charter schools experiments".
He wants "early termination" of charter school contracts by the end of the school year.