Māori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox say Labour is in disarray after Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis threatened to quit if two charter schools in the region were closed.
“Labour leader Andrew Little has vowed to abolish successful charter schools such as Te Kura Hourua o Whangārei Terenga Paraoa and Te Kāpehu Whetū in Northland to operate and exist,” says Mr Flavell.
“Labour’s leadership says charter schools are bad and must go, but Kelvin Davis and other Māori MPs know the value they provide, especially for Māori. If its strategy is to confuse the Māori voter about what Labour stands for and don’t stand for then they’re doing a great job of it.
“This is a party at odds with itself. Whether it is charter schools or Māori prisons – Māori MPs say one thing and the leadership says another. Its leadership was also very quiet on New Zealand First’s plans to cull Māori seats for fear of upsetting a would-be coalition partner.”
“The Māori Party are big supporters of charter schools. They are getting results for Māori students who don’t fit into the state system,” says Ms Fox.
“I’m just waiting for the Labour leadership to give Kelvin Davis a telling off like they did when he went to a fundraiser at Te Kura Hourua o Whangārei two years ago.
“He was sent to the naughty corner by Andrew Little back then and I expect he’ll get another call.
“Kelvin Davis knows he’s got a fight on his hands to keep his seat from the challenge of Hone Harawira and it looks like he’s trying to distance himself from a Labour Party that is disconnected from Māori.”