The Waipareira Trust in west Auckland has abandoned plans to set up a charter school, and is slamming the process involved in getting permission to set one up.
The Trust was one of the three frontrunners to get a licence for a school, but was turned down when it asked for amendments to the contract.
The Waipareira Trust's suggested amendments included recognition of the rights of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The trust's chairman John Tamihere told TV3's The Nation he was disappointed with the decision of the Parliamentary undersecretary for education, David Seymour.
"When David entered Parliament he was a lion, and that was great, but often lions turn into lambs once the pervasive nature of the institution gets to them, and I regret I think that this is what's happened to Seymour."
But Mr Seymour told the programme he was never going to allow Treaty references in the contract.
"It was simply about this last-minute attempt to include Waitangi Tribunal Ruling 414 as legally binding throughout the contract and we were never going to accept that, and he knew that."
Mr Seymour said Mr Tamihere was playing games.