Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia says there has been significant resistance from government agencies to the Whanau Ora approach.
Mrs Turia says the policy, which has been in place for 18 months, is widely misunderstood.
Tariana Turia has told a Parliamentary committee that Government agencies have been reluctant to look at Whanau Ora as a transformative way of working.
She says its main premise is to have mentors or co-ordinators work with families to help them empower themselves.
But Mrs Turia says Government agencies are resisting working with families, because they are used to focusing on individuals.
She says that has made it hard to achieve success with some at-risk families who have suffered years of drug, alcohol and family violence issues.