A Te Arawa kaumatua is backing charter schools, saying a community belief has a greater impact than a system written in a book.
Sir Toby Curtis has worked in a variety of education-related roles, including as a primary school teacher, principal and deputy vice-chancellor at the Auckland University of Technology.
The first of five charter schools, which are based on an American model, opened last week in South Auckland.
Sir Toby says if there are people in the community who can make a contribution so children learn for life, it will have a greater impact than having good, competent teachers the community does not fully support.
If the community does not support it fully then it will not have the same positive impact, whatever the quality of teaching, he says.