About 18 front-line fisheries management roles are being cut in Dunedin, Nelson, Napier and Auckland under a Ministry of Fisheries restructuring.
Under the changes, some services will be centralised and full-time- equivalent employees increase by 16 to 462.
Chief executive Wayne McNee says by centralising some services and making other changes, the ministry will become more efficient.
The Public Service Association says removing staff from the front-line will make it harder to manage the $2b inshore fishing industry.
Spokesperson Jeff Osborne says the restructuring makes a mockery of the Government's claim that it is moving public service workers onto the front line.