The National Collective of Iwi Maori Social Services has been told the lack of a long-term strategy is hindering progress in volatile communities.
Representatives from 154 different iwi providers have been meeting in Wellington.
Eastern Bay of Plenty's Ngati Awa social and health services chief executive Enid Ratahi-Pryor says it is very difficult for social workers without a long-term plan.
Outside of Whanau Ora, she says, there is no long-term commitment by government that will enable Maori providers to build their capacity five to 10 years into the future.
The hui continues in Wellington on Friday.