Teens 'lost' in grief over deaths

RANDALL WALKER
Last updated 10:30 01/11/2012
Millanta
Mourned: Slain teen Izak Millanta will be remembered in a youth concert on Sunday in Paekakariki.

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Kapiti's youth are struggling to come to terms with the deaths of two young people in violent attacks, say the organisers of a concert to give them a voice.

Christine Wikaira, mother of 17-year-old Izak Millanta who suffered fatal injuries in an attack in Paraparaumu in August, says she has watched teens struggle with their grief following her son's death, and that of Sean Strongman-Lintern, killed in similar circumstances five weeks later.

"Through the tangi for Izak I witnessed how big it was for these young people and I saw how devastated they are, and how ongoing it is. It wasn't going to be something that ended when Izak was buried."

She said many were still very sad, "a bit lost", and unsure how to express their grief.

This Sunday's concert in Paekakariki is a tribute to both men, and aims to give young people an opportunity to voice their concerns and hear from professionals, brought in as guest speakers.

The concert, titled The Big Love, is a three- month joint effort between three mothers, Ms Wikaira, Siggy Woolloff and Leigh Healy.

Ms Healy said it would give young people the opportunity to respond to their sadness, including an open mic session.

The concert is aimed at youth but parents and families are welcome. The event is alcohol-free, and people are encouraged to bring a picnic.

A line-up of local and Wellington region performers have been confirmed: Luther Hunt, Ash Graham, Te Kupu, DJ Too Slik, No Problemos, Tamihana Paurini, Ryan Edwards, David Grace and Injustice.

The event is on Sunday, 3pm till 7pm, Campbell Park, Paekakariki.

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