With a focus on preventing domestic violence and everyday racism, the Multicultural Council of Rangitīkei/Whanganui has employed a part-time co-ordinator.
Juan-Carlos Penn-Reina is usually known as Carlos Penn. He has a Whanganui father and Colombian mother. He started the new job a month ago, works 10 hours a week from home and can be contacted on 022 325 6384.
The council held a successful pot luck dinner this month, where people could talk about domestic violence.
President Vijeshwar Prasad said the combined stress of adapting to a new culture and getting by financially could easily boil over into violence for migrants.
Whanganui Police Constable Dean Erickson and Whanganui Women's Refuge manager Heather Perry were both at the dinner to talk to people.
In another new initiative, Prasad and Penn are considering having a Race Relations Day in Whanganui's Majestic Square next March.
"In Whanganui some people are racist. Every migrant who has come to New Zealand has gone through some racial abuse," Prasad said.
They would like as to involve as many ethnic communities as possible.
There are lots of migrants coming into Whanganui at the moment. They are mainly retired people from Auckland, Prasad said.
A new council project will be a one-day bus trip for new arrivals and international students in August or September, to show them what Whanganui has.
The council also holds the Diwali Cultural Night in November and a marae visit in February, and is involved with Whanganui District Council's Festival of Cultures and Welcoming Communities Plan.
It has 27 members, from China, Fiji, Pakistan, Korea and the Pacific Islands.
It's funded by a $15,000 a year grant from the Lotteries Commission, and from Prasad's own pocket.
A retired teacher, he bought the house next door to him in Anzac Parade for his immigration consultancy business.
He's called it Multicultural House and two rooms are available for anyone to use.
He will be grateful for the help of Penn, because he has other priorities.
"I don't want to become too busy because I'm retired and I enjoy travelling," he said.