You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Jackson's comment raised in parliament

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/05/2017
Willie Jackson. © Michael Bradley/Getty Images Willie Jackson.

Differences within Labour's caucus over the future of charter schools has been raised in parliament during a rowdy question time.

It's long-held policy is to repeal the legislation that allows them to exist, but recently recruited-election candidate Willie Jackson is involved in running one in Auckland and believes they're working for Maori.

They were created under a support agreement between the government and the ACT Party, and in parliament on Wednesday ACT leader David Seymour asked Education Minister Nikki Kaye what she thought about Mr Jackson's opinion.

"Does she agree with Willie Jackson, number 21 on Labour's list, who says `I think just about all the schools are doing well and there would be no reason from my observation to close any partnership school'?" he asked Ms Kaye.

"Yes I do agree with Willie Jackson, I just wish (Labour leader) Andrew Little would," she replied.

As Speaker David Carter called for order amid noisy interjections from Labour's benches, Ms Kaye went on to quote Labour MP Peeni Henare - "why would you stop something that's working?"

Charter schools - the government calls them partnership schools - can be run by business, community or church organisations.

They are government funded but don't have to hire registered teachers and can tailor their teaching to suit students who are failing or under-performing in the state system.

They're fiercely opposed by the teacher unions, and until Mr Jackson appeared on the scene Labour was vowing to get rid of them.

It's education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, is now saying they would face a range of options under a Labour government, from closure to integration with the state system.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon