New Zealand's largest secondary school is criticising the Government's controversial education funding cuts, despite gaining money in the sector reform.
In last week's Budget announcement, the Government said it hoped to save $43 million by focussing on improving teacher quality.
Some intermediate schools stood to lose up to four teachers as a result of the changes, which have since been capped at two teachers per school.
But Education Minister Hekia Parata has stressed large secondary schools will actually gain funding as a result of the revamp.
Rangitoto College in Auckland - the country's largest secondary school with over 3000 students - prospers under the changes.
"We predict that we'll have probably one perhaps two additional staff," principal David Hodge said.
But even with that boost, Hodge told ONE News the Government has got it wrong and the policy is flawed.
"I think they've bought a fight because I think as I say parents know, parents just know that a smaller class is a better deal for their child."
It is criticism that was today echoed by the Government's ministerial allies.
The Maori Party and United Future have expressed reservations about the move, with United Future leader Peter Dunne saying he is becoming "increasingly concerned" about the changes.
"I think it's become fairly clear that there is a large number of what could be loosely described as unintended consequences of the policy change.
"They now need to be worked through and resolved to give not only teachers certainty and clarity, but I think more particularly to give parents confidence and reassurance about what is going on."
Dunne said it was never properly explained that the original policy would have seen up to seven teachers cut from some schools.
"I was not given any information that led me to have suspected this outcome was going to be achieved."
And the Revenue Minister thinks those inside cabinet share his view.
"My suspicion is they've been taken by surprise like the rest of us," Dunne said.
Associate Education Minister and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says like Dunne he was not fully briefed.
"So I've just written to the Prime Minister saying that we weren't informed of how this would spin, how it would play out."
Dunne said someone is going to have to answer the questions and he will take the matter up with senior ministers if it is not resolved.
The Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone is expecting a backlash.
"We've been very clear and thorough in our modelling to show what the implications would be.
"Nobody wants to take away funding from teachers, I think the argument that we have to win is that it is a fact that we can't spend money that I haven't got."
Strike action by teachers could be possible in response to the Government's proposals.
The New Zealand Association for Intermediate and Middle Schooling (NZAIMS) has told its members to boycott Ministry of Education initiatives in response to the plans.
Its protest is being supported by secondary teachers as well, and a meeting between unions and groups representing teachers across the education sector has been arranged for Tuesday to discuss further action.
"We're going to be asking what things can we realistically deal with and make this message harder and harder for the Government," Gary Sweeney from NZAIMS told TV ONE's Breakfast.
Sweeney said his organisation is not a union, so cannot organise a strike, but others around the table on Tuesday will have that power, "and they may put that up as an option to be talked about".
Yesterday, Education Minister Hekia Parata guaranteed no school will lose more than two teachers, but there are no assurances the two teacher cap will stay in place after three years.
However, Sweeney wants a moratorium put on the whole plan while alternative methods of saving the money are considered.
'Subject options will have to be cut'
Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) president Robin Duff said teachers do not always agree on policy but there is a lot of support for the intermediate schools.
He said the cuts amounted to a $300 million clawback of school staffing over the next five years, and technology education would take a hit.
"Subject options will have to be cut and area schools and junior high schools will no longer be able to function the way they were designed to operate," he said.
Duff said the Government's assurances about capping staff losses are still not good enough for intermediate schools.
"Losing one teacher is a bad thing for any school, losing two will be a disaster for most."
Duff said arguments that the cuts were designed to improve teacher quality were "fundamentally dishonest" as the evidence showed Treasury and Government had been preparing for them since well before the 2011 election.