Social service provider Fale Pasifika o Aoraki is expanding its services in Oamaru.
The Timaru-based provider launched its Oamaru branch, as well as an anti-bullying project, in July 2014.
Manager Ofa Boyle said rolling out new programmes and services targeting family violence, youth, translators, health, education and leadership started in March and was working well.
“Pasifika people helping Pasifika people works very well.”
She said mainstream services were not always framed in a holistic way to meet the needs of Pasifika Oamaruvians.
Society worker Mele Siale said having Pasifika people who used to hold positions as teachers or translators back in their home countries helping out at a local level gave the service an edge.
“We will talk to someone and we can read between the lines,” she said.
“We are not known for being straightforward with our answers; we are body language people.”
Mrs Boyle believes her group will have an impact on family violence.
“Family violence is a hard subject to talk about, no matter if you’re a Palagi (European) or wherever you come from.”
She said there were issues with some local Pasifika groups when it came to rolling out anti-violence messages and literal interpretations in some Bible passages.
Mrs Boyle said the programme was designed to connect local Pasifika with relevant health and education providers to help them progress and make positive choices.