On the eve of announcing who will deliver services under Whanau Ora, the minister in charge is accusing the Social Development Ministry of stifling the programme.
Tariana Turia says the enthusiastic response from packed hui shows there is an appetite among Maori for new ways to deliver integrated health, welfare, justice and education services, Waatea News reports.
But she says the programme will be limited to 20 providers, because that's all the contracts the ministry says it can handle.
"This is our biggest opportunity ever, and we're being stifled - that's what our people are telling me."
Mrs Turia says many Maori providers who have had 20 years of experience delivering Government services say they are ready to move if whanau ora contracts are available.