Davis threatens to resign if charter schools closed

Labour MP Kelvin Davis has said he would resign if two Northland partnership schools (the media persist in calling them charter schools) were closed down, but he would be happy if they remained but were renamed.

Labour have always strongly opposed the setting up of partnership schools.

RNZ: Davis threatens to resign if two charter schools closed down

Te Kura Hourua O Whangārei and Te Kāpehu Whetū are both charter schools in Northland.

The MP Kelvin Davis said Māori wanted a measure of autonomy over the education of their children.

“So if they were to close they would no longer exist, that would be a bottom line for me, so the fact is they can exist as special character schools, that’s the bottom line to me.”

Mr Davis said the Labour Party wouldn’t close schools that were performing well.

The partnership schools have also been strongly opposed by teacher unions, and Labour education spokesperson Chris Hipkins seems the be a virtual spokesperson for the unions.

Partnership schools are a contentious issue in Labour. High profile candidate Willie Jackson is involved with one in Auckland and supports them.

RNZ: Jackson at odds with Labour’s charter schools policy

Mr Jackson said he saw no reason why any of the charter schools operating now should be closed under a Labour government.

Mr Jackson also questioned why any charter school should be closed under a Labour government.

“I think just about all the schools are doing well, there’s been one or two hiccups, but there would be no reason, from my observation, to close any schools.

From May  Labour committed to anti-charter school policy – Little

The Labour Party remains opposed to charter schools despite new candidate Willie Jackson being involved in running one.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little told Morning Report that Labour’s policy was clear – it opposed charter schools. He said the funding model for the schools was a “con”.

“Willie Jackson is a Labour Party candidate and he signs up to Labour Party policy, that’s it, that’s a fact and that’s what has happened and is going to happen.”

He said he and Mr Jackson shared the same view – they wanted Māori children to succeed in schools.

“But we do have some bottom lines which is that the people who stand in front of our children need to be trained, registered teachers, and they’ve got to teach to the national curriculum.”

If Labour won the election it would continue to support Kura Kaupapa schools and special character schools, Mr Little said.

RNZ:  Labour MP backs Jackson on charter schools

New Labour Party list candidate Willie Jackson has received backing from a party Māori caucus member, Peeni Henare, who also says not all charter schools should be shut down under a Labour government.

Peeni Henare, the Labour MP for the Auckland Māori electorate of Tamaki Makaurau, was described as having made an error of judgement by Mr Little when he attended a fund-raiser at a charter school in 2015.

Mr Henare said Labour had been keen to see if some charter schools could continue to operate as special character schools.

“The bottom line is, why would you stop something that is working.”

He said there was some discussion within the caucus about this issue, but he did not believe it would cause any internal conflict.

The Maori MPs and candidates are speaking to their constituency in favour of the schools, while Little and Hipkins seem to be staunch in their and the teacher unions’ opposition.

Labour’s Maori MPs and candidates will be wanting to do maximise their vote as well as well as supporting schools that are potentially life changers for Maori pupils, which puts their party in an awkward position.

Partnership Schools:

Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua are an opportunity for communities, iwi, philanthropists and business organisations to partner with educators to raise achievement among Māori, Pasifika, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and students with special education needs. The schools contract with the Government to meet specified, rigorous educational standards in return for freedom to innovate to do so.

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16 Comments

  1. Tipene

     /  July 24, 2017

    Kelvin Davis is a reed in the proverbial wind, most often accusing other parties of actions that Labour themselves have previously engaged within. Davis has no true conviction, and is a grand-stander, even surpassing Hone Harawira in this regard.

    He’s bluffing.

    Reply
    • On the other hand he could be putting the interests of his constituents ahead of those of his party and especially those of teacher unions.

      Isn’t that what an MP should do?

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  July 24, 2017

      How many winds, how many reeds?
      How many new announcements and changes of policy do we hear which swayings are reactions to meet the ideas of opposition groups? Convictions and principles come and go easily thus. The seasonal winds of election year are blowing.

      Ironically a most outstanding example of conviction being directly related to votes is the charter school Minister who eases past scrutiny. The fact that Davis is getting attention might simply suggest electoral concern.

      It’s unlikely Kelvin Davis and Willie Jackson will have to face the issue after the election. Should the remote need arise, where there’s a will there’s a way. There’s clearly an intent to establish Māori schools. Some way will be found to have the Māori schools still exist but come under the umbrella of the state system.

      Naturally enough the laments will start about the lack of flexibility in the state system and the creativity deficit there. It’s sort of funny that those sitting around the top tables can constrain, restrict and tourniquet a system and complain about it not having flexibility. No, that’s not funny. Where there’s a will there’s a way in that too.

      National and Act Party supporters want a separate Māori system, Labour apparently do too. What’s the problem?

      https://teara.govt.nz/en/maori-education-matauranga/page-3

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 24, 2017

        The problem is the current crew & leadership in Labour mistakenly believe the way to get power – i.e. to become the dominant party in a coalition government – is to invent reasons to oppose everything the current National-led coalition does, & and to invent policies that are totally different, even when they actually ostensibly want to do the same thing. This is because they lack a clear focus on what is really actually important, can’t persuade their membership to follow them – so they are all over the place – and they have no tactician with a few clues.

        They have gone, yet again, with an unfortunate choice of leader who sod-all people want as their PM, and there is now nothing that can be done about this before the election, so they will just have to suffer. And maybe have a rethink when they see who they’ve still got, & who wants to stay.

        That’s my opinion anyway. I could be wrong. It’s happened twice before. 😕

        Reply
  2. Ray

     /  July 24, 2017

    Not if you are a Labour MP PG. They are required to sign an document that puts the Party first and foremost.

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  July 24, 2017

    The Labour Party remains opposed to charter schools despite new candidate Willie Jackson being involved in running one.

    Labour Party leader Andrew Little told Morning Report that Labour’s policy was clear – it opposed charter schools. He said the funding model for the schools was a “con”.

    “Willie Jackson is a Labour Party candidate and he signs up to Labour Party policy, that’s it, that’s a fact and that’s what has happened and is going to happen.”

    Peeni Henare, the Labour MP for the Auckland Māori electorate of Tamaki Makaurau, was described as having made an error of judgement by Mr Little when he attended a fund-raiser at a charter school in 2015.

    Man, Andy just has no clue, does he? These jokers will represent the interests of their Maori constituents first. And good on them for doing so.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  July 24, 2017

      He (Little) said the funding model for the schools was a “con”.

      Does that mean he is essentially calling Willie Jackson a ‘conman’?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 24, 2017

        Yes. He does that sort of thing, & then someone takes him aside & points that out to him and he:

        But it’s too late then.

        Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 24, 2017

    Little is a union puppet. Even Labour voters are slowly detecting that.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 24, 2017

      What puzzles me, is why he doesn’t actually realise that himself. It’s depressing for those looking for a viable alternative National.

      Reply

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