A Samoan photography artist was called in by the Hastings City Art Gallery as an artist-in-residence to work with students at a Flaxmere school.
Edith Amituanai is from Auckland and has been working with Kimi Ora Community School to create the Keep On Kimiora project.
More than 90 per cent of students at Kimi Ora primary school are Maori and Pacific.
Ms Amituanai said the photos reflect the Flaxmere community that New Zealanders typically only hear negative things about in the media.
She said the photos were taken by her and the students in their homes, the park and the church.
"I asked the kids, what kind of experience do you want the viewers to have when they see your work? And they were really positive. They said, 'We want them to feel happy'.
That's how they think about their community, about their lives. Never once did they talk about how the community is perceived outside of Flaxmere. But I also know that when people say, 'Oh you working down there? Ohh, you know, this is what happens and this is what has happened."
The Keep On Kimiora art exhibition will run till the 3rd of September.