A former school principal and Hastings District Councillor says the Government's announcement that it will take over school zoning is "utterly pointless" for regions such as Hawke's Bay.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Tuesday that a new "Education Service Agency" will take over school zoning in each region, and will take the lead role in planning new and improved school buildings.
Independent panels overseen by a "Chief Referee" will also be appointed to hear complaints against schools.
Former Frimley Primary School principal Malcolm Dixon said the only places that needs intervention are big areas such as Auckland.
Dixon said the system isn't "broken" in provincial New Zealand, and is being well handled.
"It's a massive issue in secondary schools in Auckland and the Government is just trying to make a one-cap-suits-all solution when it is really a big city problem," Dixon said.
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"The smaller regions are dealing with this well because they know their local community and what works."
The Government has backed off proposals by a taskforce led by former Tamatea High School principal Bali Haque which would have transferred "all the legal responsibilities and liabilities currently held by school boards of trustees" to about 20 regional "hubs".
The reforms represent the biggest changes in the way schools are run since the system of self-governing school boards, known as Tomorrow's Schools, was created in 1989.
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Most of the changes will be phased in gradually over the next few years.
Dixon said zoning schemes problems should be left to Hawke's Bay schools sort out.
"Ministry don't know the local environment, it's the local schools that know the local environment," he said.
"As far as I know the system seems to work relatively well here in Hawke's Bay with minimal issues and the Government could meddle with something that's not broken."
Hipkins said the current system allowed 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".
"In light of these issues, the Government proposes the ESA [Education Service Agency] would assume, at a regional level, responsibility for developing a new enrolment scheme, or modifying an existing scheme, and consulting with relevant stakeholders," he said.
A spokeswoman from Ministry of Education said it was too early to provide any information about potential changes to local regions that could follow Tuesday's announcement.