Principals are being challenged to come forward with evidence following a report that claimed Auckland school zones are being manipulated.
Visiting academic, Chris Lubienski, found city schools were skewing enrolment zones to exclude children from poorer families, prompting calls for a review.
Principals admitted to the University of Illinois associate professor they had deliberately manipulated school zoning, including cherry-picking students.
Lubienski looked at 49 schools, of which 36 secondary schools had changed their zones to include affluent areas and exclude poor ones.
The researcher told Radio New Zealand one principal admitted to removing the names of unwanted students from the ballot for out-of-zone enrolments.
Education Minister Hekia Parata, who has not read the report, has asked officials to advise her on the research and send her a copy.
The issue has divided principals between those who vehemently deny it occurs and those who are adamant it's a reality.
The Secondary Principals' Association has called for principals to provide evidence.
Association president Patrick Walsh said a review of zoning rules would be premature at this stage.
If principals believe zoning-manipulation is happening it is time to name the schools and end damaging speculation across the secondary sector, he said.p>"The research, as a matter of urgency, needs to be picked up by the Ministry and taken a careful look at."
Two principals in Wellington and one in Christchurch have also told him schools are skewing enrolment zones.
Walsh said he personally doesn't think it's a widespread problem as school enrolment zones are scrutinised by the ministry.
"If it is happening then those checks and balances are not working."
If their allegations are true the ministry needs to explain why it allowed zone changes to go ahead, he said.
Papatoetoe High School principal Peter Gall was among those principals not surprised by the research.
He has called for the Government to revise the decile rating system to remove the incentive to manipulate school zones.
The Green Party has called for a review of Tomorrow's Schools following the school zoning revelations.
In March Philippa Nash started a petition to have a group of streets bordered by New North Rd, Richardson Rd and Hendon Ave included in the Mt Albert Grammar School enrolment zone.
Nash's oldest daughter started Year 9 in February but can't attend the school because she lives on a part of New North Rd that falls into Avondale College's catchment, so she goes to Green Bay High School.
Nash believed the territory should change because some streets within the area she wants included are 500 metres or more closer to Mt Albert Grammar than they are to Avondale College.
Mt Albert's Gladstone Primary school evaluated their school zones earlier this year, but no changes were made.
The ministry ordered the school to investigate its enrolment zone as there was a "likelihood of overcrowding".
That issue also promoted Point Chevalier School to request the ministry investigate the possibility of rezoning its catchment area.
- (Live Matches)