Hawke's Bay's primary health organisation (PHO) plans to directly target more of its funding to improve the health of high needs patients, which include Maori.
Te Oranga Hawke's Bay was set up in April last year after the merging of three PHOs in the region.
Chief Executive Philip Grant says health statistics for some diseases in Hawke's Bay are among the worst in New Zealand.
He says there are some unacceptable inequalities among Maori in the region, with almost two thirds of men not expected to live past the age of 65.
Mr Grant says for the region to have any chance of bridging the health gap, the PHO has to identify and invest in services which benefit those most in need.
He says the PHO will prioritise its funding to give extra help to people when it comes to cervical screening, diabetes management, cardio vascular risk assessments, smoking cessation programmes, flu vaccinations and child immunisations.