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E Tū - Lean On Me Concert 2019

The sixth annual Lean On Me concert went ahead in full East Coast sunshine just prior to Christmas 2019.

Held at Hatea-a-Rangi Domain in Tokomaru Bay, the focus of the concert series is to raise awareness around suicide; both prevention and intervention.

The line-up included 2K Rhythm, Super Fly Killer, Tama Waipara, Ora Taukamo and family-oriented reggae band Sticks and Shanty.

Lean On Me is more than a concert, says Nati4Life Trust manager Tuta Ngarimu.

"It's an opportunity for whanau to pick up tools they can use. The music attracts whanau and while people are there we have people sharing their stories.”

Between acts during the day about seven speakers spoke on various topics related to suicide.

Lean On Me regulars, Riders Against Teen Suicide (RATS), were again in attendance and more than 30 stalls offered food and information. Among various activities at the concert were two workshops run by Eru Whare of RATS.

"Eru discussed tools people can access and ran a survey to get some understanding of the kaupapa," said Mr Ngarimu.

"We have noticed with the latest statistics that suicide numbers are climbing, so we thought, 'let's change the way we do this'. Our marketing for this weekend at Tokomaru Bay went around Aotearoa to bring people here."

Mr Ngarimu said other organisations in Northland and Waikato had seen the success of the Lean On Me kaupapa and were intending to do similar events in their regions.