The government is to slash jobs at the Ministry for Youth Development (MYD) by about 40 percent.
Youth Development Minister Nikki Kaye has announced a restructure that will see about 10 of the 25 staff at the ministry lose their jobs.
"Some MYD staff will be impacted by the changes, and I want to acknowledge that this will be a difficult time for them.
"MSD will provide appropriate support to those affected. The agency's new arrangements will be in place by April 2016."
The Public Service Association (PSA) criticised the move, with the union saying Ms Kaye's move to gut the ministry went against the findings of an independent review that said many of the roles were being performed very well.
"MYD staff face a nervous wait ahead of Christmas to see if they will be losing their jobs," said PSA national secretary Glenn Barclay.
"The government is forcing MYD to gut their ability to perform their key roles of engaging and developing youth across the country.
"The government is cutting roles that even an independent review found that MYD were doing very well.
"Relocating ministerial servicing to Auckland might work well for Nikki Kaye, but will [it] make it harder to get the job done?" Mr Barclay said.
"Having a sham public consultation when Cabinet has already made a decision to put taxpayer funding into a new trust fund is appalling."
Ms Kaye was looking at fundamental changes to the way the department operated, including a partnership fund set up from $1 million saved by the restructure, to be matched by contributions from philanthropic and business organisations.
"The partnership fund is a mechanism to achieve greater cohesion between the government and business and philanthropic sectors, and I expect ideas and initiatives to flow from it.
"The options are that a new board or charitable trust will decide how money in the partnership fund is invested.
"The intention is to have representation from the business and philanthropic sectors on the board or trust," she said.