NZ First says National's plan to cut Government's zoning requirements would lead to 'white flight'

NZ First associate minister of education Tracey Martin.
NZ First associate minister of education Tracey Martin. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand First has criticised The National Party's plan to scrap the Government's decision to take over school zoning, warning it would lead to "white flight".

Under National's plan, announced on Monday, schools would be given back the power to create their own zoning areas after the Government took it away under a new system to replace the 30-year-old self-governing regime, in an attempt to achieve more equal outcomes for all students.

NZ First warns, however, that National's plan could lead to 'white flight' - the phenomenon of 'white people' moving out of urban areas into suburban areas.

"When National refers to 'reduc(ing) the need to impose restrictive zoning requirements' that this is a nod to the elite part of town," associate minister of education Tracey Martin said in a statement.

"The result? We would get white flight and this would lead to the 'haves and the have nots' being even more pronounced." 

Education Minister Chris Hipkins also criticised the plan to allow schools to create zoning areas.

The system could allow schools to "manipulate the zone based on areas they may wish to take students from; for example, including high socio-economic neighbourhoods while excluding closer, yet more disadvantaged neighbourhoods," he said.