Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is urging Maoridom to take a stronger stand against child abuse, and identify children at risk within iwi.
In a speech to iwi leaders, Ms Bennett called for a co-operative effort to address the problem.
She said that of 125,000 notifications to Child Youth and Family this year, 55,000 required further action and 21,000 were substantiated as cases of abuse and neglect.
Ms Bennett said that Maori children make up roughly half of the cases of abuse seen by CYF in a year.
However she also said, that it is not just a Maori issue as 21,000 children of all ethnicities are found to be abused in just one year.