Two Labour MPs break ranks on Charter Schools

Labour, along with close allies the teachers’ unions, has always strongly opposed Charter Schools.

SO it’s notable that two Maori Labour MPs have openly supported a charter school.

3 News reported: Kelvin Davis defies Labour policy in charter school support

Labour MP Kelvin Davis has rebelled against his leader, Andrew Little, by giving his support to a charter school – a policy Labour strongly opposes.

Mr Davis was present at a fundraiser for a charter school.

Charter schools use taxpayers’ money, but are privately run – an ACT Party policy adopted by the Government.

The fundraiser was for a school run by the He Puna Marama Trust in Whangarei.

Mr Davis is Labour’s associate education spokesman, so it’s a bad look for him to show support.

Another Labour MP, Peeni Henare, also attended.

Davis is MP for Maori electorate Te Tai Tokerau, Henare is MP for Tāmaki Makaurau. Some Maori see benefits in Charter Schools, and Davisd and Henare have put more priority of the interests of their Maori constituencies rather the political interests of their party.

Labour sources have told 3 News Mr Little did not want them to go.

It does look a bit awkward for Little and Labour.

A spokeswoman for Mr Little said he left the decision to go up to the MPs, and their attendance does not reflect any change in Labour’s policy on charter schools.

But it’s obvious the blanket policy opposing charter schools is not universally accepted within the party.

It suggests a clash of special interests within Labour – their education constituency versus their Maori constituency.

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  1. Mike C

     /  31st August 2015

    I have always thought Labours anti Charter School policy is ridiculous.

    Willie Jackson runs one, and he is grateful to the National Government for giving him the opportunity to provide a specialized school environment to his Maori people.

    If the Labour Party don’t start getting their shit together policy-wise, then they are going to fail miserably, yet again, at the next election.

  2. Nice to see that Unionist interests are being put behind the needs of children to have an education setting that works for them.

    Davies and Henare will now get special attention in the House when Labour and the Greens continue their little crusade against charter schools again in question time…. every supplementary answer from Hekia will include “xxxyxyxxyxy and we are happy to have Kelvin and Peeni supporting us in the charter school initiatives”

    I would expect a few jibes from David Seymour in a similar vein as well…

    Labour – divided, bereft and unfit to lead the country. There is there 2017 election slogan ready prepared for them.

  3. It could be that the two MPs support the establishment of more Māori schools.

    There is a nice irony in those who would usually be screaming “separatism, apartheid and special treatment for Māori” putting those voices on hold for their caterwauling support for Charter Schools.

    • Fair point I suppose duperez. I don’t mind Maori schools per see they have been around since the year dot almost – see Te Aute etc ……

      I suppose different approaches at the fringes to address specific problems and that is what Charter Schools are aimed at. And they can be selected by CHOICE Of the parent

  4. They may have been around since the year dot but the calls about ‘separatism’ are a more recent phenomenon. There is going to be more choice. The choice for some now is to send their children to a Māori school or not. It is certain that many taxpayers have not realised the extent of their magnanimity.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st August 2015

      Maori secondary schools have a more disastrous failure rate than charter schools, duperez. How many are still left if not on their last gasp?

      • ‘Failure rate’ in terms of academic results or those other factors which they have had much publicity about? I’ve no idea of how many left if not on their last gasp or the reasons for that.

        My impression is that some of those schools clung to very traditional approaches in a changing world and particularly changing New Zealand society and did not evolve as would now have seemed wise.
        Even a famous school like Te Aute has few pupils.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st August 2015

          I think on all counts: students voting with their feet so falling rolls, poor academic results, serious violence problems.

  5. Reginald Perrin

     /  1st September 2015

    It’s interesting that both Henare and Davis come from an education background. Their tacit support of partnership schools to improve outcomes for their whanau is at odds with Chris Hipkins’ union-driven blind opposition. My old boss CJ often used to say “I didn’t get where I am today without giving the opposition a bit of credit now and again”.


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