National’s Māori Education spokesperson Jo Hayes and Māori Development spokesperson Nuk Korako are challenging Labour’s Māori MPs to do what’s right for young Māori.

“In light of the Treaty of Waitangi claim lodged by respected Māori leaders Sir Toby Curtis and Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Labour’s Māori MPs should come out of hiding and stand with them against their colleagues’ decision to axe partnership schools,” Ms Hayes says.

“Sir Toby and Dame Iritana are doing exactly what Labour’s Māori MPs have continually failed to do, and that’s to represent Māori and advocate for what’s best for them.

“They are calling out this Government’s attack on Māori tino rangatiratanga and fighting against the closure of partnership schools, which they rightly believe will have a detrimental effect on Māori.

“Their claim also raises issues about a lack of consultation with Māori on the review of our education system. This Government wants to axe schools that work for Māori and hasn’t bothered to talk to Māori about how to improve the education system for young Māori.”

Mr Korako says Labour’s Māori MPs having been sitting idle for too long while their colleagues continue to attack vulnerable young Māori by scrapping partnership schools.

“Māori people are right to be angry. Many voted for Labour MPs but so far those MPs have achieved nothing for them. It’s the same old Labour, same old attacks on Māori success and aspiration.

“Labour’s Māori MPs are allowing their Government to ride roughshod over partnership schools that have been successful in raising achievement for many young Māori.

“It’s time for Labour’s Māori MPs to start representing their people and fight to keep partnership schools open.”

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