Pasifika group to appoint local anti-bullying worker

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Fale Pasifika O Aoraki, a Timaru-based Pasifika social service provider, will be choosing an Oamaru worker this week to help launch an anti-bullying project in the area.

Manager Ofa Boyle said they would interview five applicants in Timaru tomorrow and hoped to choose someone as soon as possible so they could begin.

They decided to start the project here as there is a strong community connection in Oamaru among the Pasifika churches, she said.

“It’s easier to work with well connected communities.”

She said there was also a relatively new community of Pasifika migrants in Oamaru that came here for work and some families felt they were struggling with different expectations of New Zealand culture, especially in regards to bullying.

“Sometimes they don’t realise it is bullying,” she said.

The Anti-Bullying Project will run programmes in the community to increase the knowledge and understanding of the impacts of bullying and they will use Pasifika culture and values in dealing with youth who are being bullied or who are bullying.

The project will also be launched in Timaru and Ashburton.

Visit www.falepasifikaoaoraki.org.nz for more information.

By RUBY HARFIELD