Labour Party dismisses Māori Party's claims of disarray over charter schools
By Eruera Rerekura – Eru.Rerekura@tvnz.co.nz | @erurerekura
Kelvin Davis is dismissing the Māori Party’s comments that his party is in disarray over charter schools.
Labour leader Andrew Little has vowed to abolish the special charter schools if his party wins the election.
However the Tai Tokerau MP says charter schools that are doing well should remain open – albeit under a different classification of special character schools.
Mr Davis told Te Karere that the Māori Party is just trying to stir up dust for nothing.
“E pahupahu ana te Pāti Māori, horekau rāua i te mōhio ngā āhuatanga e whakaatu ana, e kuare ana rātou i te āhuatanga o ngā kura kei roto o Aotearoa.”
He said he was only responding to the feedback he had received from state schools across the country that they wanted equity across the board in terms of funding and that each school should be reviewed the same.
“Ko te tino hiahia o ngā kura auraki o te motu - kia taurite, kia ōrite te papa tākaro mō ia kura, mō ia kura - ahakoa he kura hourua, ahakoa he kura auraki rānei, kia ōrite te pūtea, kia ōrite te mana o ngā kaiako kei roto i ngā kura, e ōrite ana te arotake o ngā kura,” hei tā Davis.
Mr Davis said he was adamant that charter schools such as Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru in his electorate won’t close, however its status will change and it will remain open as a special character school.
“Kei te mōhio ahau e kore aua kura e kapi. Ka tīnihia te mana o ngā kura mai i te kura hourua ki te kura "special character school", engari horekau ngā whānau me ngā tamariki i te mōhio he rerekētanga.
But Māori Party co-leader Mārama Fox said Mr Davis appeared to be back-tracking.
“If he thinks he can give it a different name if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck – it’s a duck, in this case it’s a charter school. Just to say it’s going to be called special character school and hope that that is a get out of jail free card is not good enough.
If they (Labour) don’t like charter schools which they’ve said they haven’t he (Mr Davis) had the opportunity to cross the floor – he didn’t take it,” Ms Fox said.
Mr Davis said although the status of charter schools will change under a Labour-led government the education pupils will receive won’t change.
Ms Fox added that the Māori Party were big supporters of charter schools which are getting results for Māori students who don’t fit into the state system.