Lone MP John Banks says the future of the Act Party depends on the success of a charter schools trial.
The Associate Education Minister and Education Minister Hekia Parata yesterday discussed the scheme, which was part of Act's confidence and supply deal with National.
Last week the proposed appointment of former Act president Catherine Isaac to oversee the trial provoked an outcry from education unions.
Yesterday Banks and Parata had a brief meeting to discuss the timeframe of the pilot which Banks hopes to have underway by next year.
"The future of this political party, I think, is going to be substantially predicated on the success of the charter school trials because everything we stand for and stand against comes together," he said.
"We are committed to making this work. We are not here to give it a go and hope."
Although Banks retained Epsom for Act with a comfortable majority, the party was working to rebuild after a returning 1% of the vote.
Banks was undaunted by the strength of opposition to the trial in south Auckland and Canterbury.
Autonomous charter schools are run by private enterprises like business, or iwi but receive the same government funding as state schools.
He invited education unions to put forward names to join the implementation team.
"Dogs don't bark at stationary vehicles...I'm not suggesting that trade union people are dogs...we will have a high level conversation with them and further than that we invite them to pitch up some high quality names for the implementation group.
Banks says he "is in a hurry" to get aspects with his deal with National under way: "I'm not getting any younger," the 65-year-old said.
He said he would never threaten to walk away from his confidence and supply agreement with National as the Maori Party did last week over the proposed sell-off of state-owned assets.
"We just don't behave in that way. We don't see it as an honourable proposition to threaten our coalition partners before we have a private and then maybe a public conversation about matters."
But he added: "We don't see ourselves as bichon frises of the National Party. We want to work very constructively but we wouldn't want anyone around here to mistake our friendliness for weakness."