Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is refusing to budge on a decision not to fund safe bassinets for infants.
Professor Ed Mitchell, the country's leading cot expert, has urged Dr Coleman to put up the $1.5 million needed for safe-sleep Pepi-Pods after his ministry restricted support for them.
But Dr Coleman is refusing to make any promises.
"New Zealand has one of the worst rates of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy in the industrialised world, with Maori babies accounting for 60 percent of that," he explained.
Pepi-Pods provide protection for vulnerable infants sleeping in places known to increase the risk of accidental suffocation.