This Government continues to show if you’re not on one of its 130 working groups or you disagree with its bad ideas then it’s not willing to listen, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Last week it was business groups launching a campaign against the Government’s destructive industrial law changes, and this week it’s school principals demanding a say on the overhaul of NCEA after being shut out of the process by the Government.

“When 40 of Auckland’s school leaders unite to speak on a matter as important as how our kids learn, the Education Minister Chris Hipkins needs to front up and listen to them – and not tell them they can just send in their thoughts on some web portal.

“The views and expertise of New Zealand’s principals matter. They’re at the coalface so they know our education system and they know what’s good for our children and young people far better than Mr Hipkins and his colleagues and the Government needs to recognise that.

“For the Government to refuse to even meet with them is arrogant and putting politics ahead of our children. 

“National is open to good ideas but those who know the system best should be involved.

"But just as the Government is dismissing genuine business concerns as ‘junk’ and an issue of ‘perception’ from businesses only, it’s also telling principals that their views don’t matter.

“This a Government which continues to arrogantly show it doesn’t want its ideas challenged and that’s bad for New Zealand.

“National stands with school principals, and with boards of trustees and parents. National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye has written a letter to Mr Hipkins raising the concerns of some principals and highlighting the need for direct engagement.

“Education is a partnership and the Government needs to treat our school principals with respect and listen to what they have to say.”

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