Public servants are being warned the lives of tangata whenua will deteriorate if government departments fail to create equality for Maori.
The alert is contained in Te Puni Kokiri advice to all state sector agencies, in a guide aimed at improving the health and happiness of Maori.
It says if Maori are not treated as fairly as the rest of the population, there will be a continued over-reliance on publicly funded social services.
The ministry says that reliance affects the country's economic productivity and future demand for public services, particularly given the growth projections for the Maori population.
Te Puni Kokiri wants all Crown departments to measure how effective they are for Maori.
It says Maori have aspirations for themselves and their whanau, and the state sector has a role to play in helping Maori to succeed.
The ministry is urging all agencies to get in touch if they need advice and support.