The Salvation Army says young Maori are most at risk from government cuts in employment programmes.
Analysis by the organisation shows there are 50,000 fewer people aged 15 to 19 in the workforce than in 2007, while there were only modest increases in secondary and tertiary enrolments.
Its social policy analyst, Alan Johnson, says what is most disturbing is that during the same period, the Government made significant cuts to employment gateway programmes designed to train youth and help them into work.
Mr Johnson said the result is particularly bad for young Maori in Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, where there are rangatahi on the streets without proper assistance to direct them into work.
The Government has made some attempts to address the problem over the last year, he said, but not enough to restore the damage since 2007.