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On screen . . . Oamaru Pasifika Network chairwoman Frances Oakes features in episode three of Giants, a seven-part television series which shares the stories of New Zealand's migrant communities. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru’s growing Pasifika community has been shown to the country in a new television show.

Giants is a seven-part series which showcases the legacy, whakapapa and heritage of various migrant communities in New Zealand.

Episode three, which aired on Maori Television last week, featured Oamaru community leaders Frances Oakes, Silou Temoana and Hana Halalele.

They shared their experiences of moving to the North Otago town when the Pasifika community was a minority and how much it had grown since then.

The premise of Giants, made with funding from NZ On Air, is that immigrants stand on the shoulders of giants, building upon the legacy and whakapapa of their tupuna.

In the episode featuring Oamaru, Mrs Halalele said because there were so few Pasifika families around when she was growing up, they naturally learned to work together even if they were from different island groups.

‘‘And then over the years our population has increased,’’ the Waitaki district councillor said.

At present, the community makes up about 20% of Oamaru’s population.

Mrs Oakes said when she migrated as a 15-year-old in 1974, there were no other Tongan people in the North Otago town.

Since then, the community had grown so much she did not know all the Tongan families.

Mrs Temoana spoke about the importance of retaining culture, as she feared Tuvalu would be ruined by climate change. She moved to Oamaru from Auckland with her husband and three sons.

Oamaru was selected to be part of the series after producer Alex Bradshaw read an article about its growing Pasifika community. He was put in touch with Mrs Temoana via her relative, and then connected with other people.

Editor and producer Tara Durrant said they felt honoured to be allowed into the Oamaru community and to share its stories.

‘‘Hana, Silou and Frances are all such inspirational strong women and they come from strong women as well,’’ she said.

She was struck by how connected the wider Oamaru Pasifika community was.

‘‘It was just such an honour to make this show,’’ she said.

‘‘I hope that in a small way it gives other people an insight into how amazing the various communities that we have around the country [are].’’