Labour's Maori MPs urged to oppose Bill abolishing charter schools

Author
Frances Cook, Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Nov 2016, 5:13AM
Maori party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell (NZH).
Maori party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell (NZH).

Labour's Maori MPs urged to oppose Bill abolishing charter schools

Author
Frances Cook, Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Nov 2016, 5:13AM

The Maori Party is putting the hard word on Labour's Maori MPs to oppose one of their own Member's Bill's that abolishes charter schools.

The Bill, belonging to Labour MP Chris Hipkins is due to be debated in Parliament later today.

Maori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said Labour's Maori MPs know in their heart of hearts, because they have family members actively involved in charter schools, that the schools are achieving results upwards of 10, 20, and 30 percent of the national average, particularly those in Te Tai Tokerau.

"Therefore they're delivering on the promise of lifting educational achievement for Maori students. Why on earth would you vote against those sorts of schools? It just doesn't make sense," Mr Flavell said.

"If they vote with their party, then there's an absolute contradiction in that, knowing full well the educational achievement those schools are delivering. That's the point. Therefore if they really believe in that, then they should vote against their own party for goodness sake."

ACT leader David Seymour said the Maori Party is being sincere, and Labour MPs should consider turning against their party and voting the Bill down.

"They know from visiting the schools and from hearing the demand for more partnership schools up and down the country from the Maori community that this is a popular policy because it's making a difference in kids' lives.

"This is an existential crisis for the Labour Party," he said. "The Labour Party needs to decide whether it is in favour of the people who provide education, or the people who receive education."