The Tertiary Education Commission has cut $1.9 million of funding from one of the three wananga due to the institution's poor performance.
Te Wananga O Raukawa's budget has been reduced because just 43% of undergraduates finish their studies at the Otaki-based institution.
Couse completion is about double that at the country's other two wananga - Te Wananga o Aotearoa (76%) and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi (89%).
The commission and the wananga have been working together since last year to improve performance, agreeing on a new target completion rate of 55%.
Te Wananga o Raukawa founder Whatarangi Winiata says it should be measured against being committed to maximising its contribution to the survival of Maori as a people.
He says the Crown has an obligation to treat Maori differently
Professor Winiata says Maori have tino rangatiratanga, or sovereignty over their taonga, or treasures - and included in taonga is matauranga Maori, or knowledge.
However, the commission says the Government is funding a formal qualifications approach to tertiary education and believes better employment and earnings are achieved when people gain formal qualifications.