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Performers say yes to a violence-free Eastern Bay

We don’t want to live with family violence

Performers say yes to a violence-free Eastern Bay

Front left to right: Trilliont (TJ, Hoani, Pania), Reon Mahalia, Dora E Dondi, Ducky (Jess Merriman)
Back left to right: Wonway (Shane, Jason and Rikki) and Maori Boys in Action (Joshua and Hohepa).

Seventeen year old, Reon Mahalia, blew the judges away and took first prize with her song I don’t wanna live like this at the 2014 Yeah Nah It’s Not Ok Song Quest.

The anti-violence song quest was bigger and better than last year with more entrants, a larger audience and lots of community support. Six entrants shared their talents along with a violence-free message through their performances in Whakatane last weekend.

“We saw X Factor at a local level, with teenagers who had awesome messages to give to their peers and being champions in their community,” says It’s Not Ok’s Peter Waru, judge and primary sponsor of the Yeah Nah It’s Not Ok Song Quest.

I don’t wanna live like this portrayed a strong message about a person overcoming an abusive relationship. Song quest winner, Reon, was awarded recording studio time at Outlet Production and her song will be played on the radio in the Eastern Bay area.

Trio group, Trilliont, won the prize for the strong lyrics. Honia, TJ and Pania from Whakatane performed Tears in The Rain, a song about being bullied and family violence. The strong vocal award went to Dora E. Dondi from Opotiki. Her song You was written with a message about self worth and being true to yourself. Maori Boys in Action won the award for strong performance with their rap about whanau and bullying.

“The event was incredible – what amazing talent we have in the Eastern Bay. We’ve had amazing feedback and are humbled that such a simple idea is having a positive impact on our local communities,” says Helen Holt, Family Works’ Family Violence Response Coordinator, and chair of the organising committee.
Children from Te Kura o Te Teko opened the event with their very own waiata that they wrote about the death of an Auckland baby earlier in the year. The rest of the night featured entertaining performances from Trident High School’s Dynamix Percussion group; dance groups Connect Crew and Fusion; Whakatane High School’s Footloose group; and local band Trakshin, who had the audience up and dancing. Local celebrity and judge, Cameron Rota, closed the night with a medley.

The Yeah Nah It’s Not Ok Song Quest is a combined initiative of the It’s not OK campaign and Family Works Northern, and is organised by the Family Safety Events Committee. The Knox Presbyterian Church and the Whakatane District Creative Communities Scheme also kindly supported the event.

© Scoop Media

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