A Maori broadcaster says funding for iwi radio is so tight there isn't enough money to produce more Maori language programmes and keep valuable staff.
The Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency Te Mangai Paho says it's looking for quality over quantity.
It says because funding for Maori radio is limited it could result in regional stations being allowed to broadcast fewer hours of te reo programming to avoid compromising the quality of the language.
Programme director at Moana Radio in Tauranga, Norm Rahiri, says many stations struggle to produce more programmes and even retain their staff.
He says Maori radio has plenty of competent staff to produce quality te reo programmes, but they simply can't afford to pay them.
Mr Rahiri says Maori broadcasters are leaving to work for better money at places like Maori Television and Radio New Zealand.
Te Mangai Paho gives 21 stations $384,000 each, every year.
This year's budget delivered a cut in funding for iwi radio of $600,000 and stations are expected to live within their means.