More than 1000 Pacific youth in Auckland will take part in new research aimed at reducing depression rates.
In New Zealand, Pacific youth are three times as likely to make suicide attempts than other ethnicities.
Earlier this month, AUT University won a Marsden Grant worth $US560,000 to investigate the relationship between inflammation and depression.
The research will piggyback on a long-term AUT study of Pacific Island families in Auckland.
Research leader Richard Seigert said the work could also help address issues like childhood adversity and obesity.
"We need to look at new ways of intervening for depression, and if we can establish whether or not there's a particular type of depression that has high levels of inflammation," Professor Seigert said.
"Then it may be through targeting that inflammation, we can also target that depression."