The Public Service Association says staff at the Maori Development Ministry, Te Puni Kokiri, have been told up to 50 jobs may go as part of cost-cutting measures.
Te Puni Kokiri says staff were advised on Wednesday they will have to work with fewer resources, but there were no redundancies or restructuring proposals announced.
PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott says union members were told the Ministry is looking for $5 million in savings.
Ms Pilott says it may take some months for a firm restructuring plan to emerge and it is an unsettling time for the 350 staff at Te Puni Kokiri.
Chief executive Leith Comer told Checkpoint there is as yet no firm figure for redundancies and any decision may be months away.
He says the Ministry runs well, but it will have to make do with fewer resources as it needs to save $8 million over the next four years.