The Prime Minister has used his annual speech at Waitangi to criticise what he calls headline seekers, or Maori extremists.
John Key says a vocal minority is risking the public consensus towards settling genuine Maori grievances.
Mr Key says the outlook for Maori and Crown relations is mostly positive.
But he says there remains a small but vocal few who are sometimes unable or unwilling to see the world through any other lens than that of Maori-disadvantaged.
Mr Key says those headline seekers know they will get much more attention by being flamboyant and negative.
But he warns they could erode Waitangi Day's significance and the public's goodwill.