The Ministry of Social Development is to close 12 administration centres and axe a team of social workers dedicated to child abuse eduation, in an effort to cut costs.
The decision is contained in a document obtained by Radio New Zealand outlining the restructuring plans.
An announcement is due on Tuesday. Up to 200 jobs could go.
The ministry has 9500 employees.
In a statement, the ministry said it will not comment until it has briefed staff.
Labour MP Annette King says the impending loss of the positions contradicts Government promises that it would tackle child abuse.
The Public Service Association says the decision to cut 18 positions is a backwards step. The PSA says their role is to educate the public in how to notice and report child abuse.