Local musicians support homeless

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Sons of Zion. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Sons of Zion. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Sons of Zion lead vocalist, Rotorua's Rio Panapa, has joined forces with his musician friends and music industry partners to raise money for Kiwi families suffering serious hardship.

After learning of the desperate need for support for homeless families around New Zealand, well-known Kiwi musicians wanted to utilise their public profiles to help ease the problem.

Sons of Zion, Three Houses Down, Tomorrow People, Che Fu, Pieter T and Swiss have come up with a way to help support their country's homeless by holding a fundraiser concert in Auckland next month.

The concert, called Music is Love, will raise much-needed funds for Te Puea Marae, which is the Mangere Bridge marae that opened its doors to feed and house families living in their cars and makeshift housing.

This group of passionate musicians and music industry leaders were so inspired and humbled by the efforts of those representing Te Puea Marae, they wanted to do their part. Ultimately, they want to raise at least $100,000 for the cause.

Panapa said the wonderful work Te Puea Marae leaders were doing had motivated the group to use their talents in a meaningful way.

"Everything we do in life has to have a 'why?' attached to it, a reason," Panapa said.

"My reason is whanau, and this is an awesome opportunity to use our platforms to reach and help our most needy families," he said.

Music promoter and former Rotorua businessman Pato Alvarez has also jumped on board to support the event - a project he holds close to his heart.

Alvarez, who organises the Tauranga-based One Love concert, knows first hand what it's like to overcome homelessness and the fact there are others facing the same hardship is something he wants to help end.

"I personally slept in the streets for three weeks when I arrived in New Zealand from South America 11 years ago," Alvarez said.

He never wanted to experience homelessness again and encouraged other businesses to get on board to help Kiwis doing it tough.

"Everyone deserves a roof over their head and hot food to eat," Alvarez said.

"If we want to make a better world for the future we have to start now."

"Being in the music industry and doing what we love to give back to those who need it is the least we can do, and hopefully this inspires other businesses and companies to give as well."

Three Houses Down lead singer Charlie Pomee said it was saddening to know every day families could find themselves in a situation where they were no longer able to support each other. The fact that children were among the homeless was even more heartbreaking for everyone involved with Music is Love.

"My kids are why I wanted to put this show together," Pomee said.

"I guess as a parent we want the best for our kids and sleeping in a car, we all know is unfair for any child."

Music is Love will be held on Thursday, July 14 at The Studio on Karangahape Road, one of Auckland's most popular live entertainment venues.

The bands and artists will visit Te Puea Marae the day after the concert to deliver the funds raised from ticket sales.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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