The Human Rights Commission has started intervening in cases of overstayer children who are being prevented from going to school.
Last year the Immigration Act changed to allow all children access to education.
However, ONE News has discovered the Education Ministry is stopping some children from doing so.
Mele Kamuka is one such case, a five-year-old who is desperate to learn at school, but is not allowed.
That is because while the law change last year to allow all overstayer children an education, the Ministry of Education added its own rule - you have to be an overstayer for at least six months.
Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan has questioned the rule.
"Is it acceptable? Not as it is being applied at present, it's denying children who have the right to education access to school."
The Human Rights Commission has already intervened in a number of cases.
And it is not the only one. Lawyer Richard Small said he is dealing with dozens of affected children.
"The policy that has come in has made it unworkable for families."
The Kamakas are one such family.
They had been overstayers for many years and recently did the right thing. They negotiated visiting permits while they apply for residency, but now their daughter can't go to school.
If they had remained overstayers she could have. Lawyer Richard Small said it is absolutely illogical and has sent several cases to the ombudsman with some success.
ONE News was present when one mother was told her children could attend school, and her child was overwhelmed by the news.
When contacted by ONE News, the ministry did not want to give an on-camera interview over why some children are missing out.
Instead it issued a statement saying, "Students and their parents could use the six month waiting period to make progress on their immigration status".