Kiwi Norway massacre victim remembered 10 years on

Source: 1News

"Life is not fair," the mother of a New Zealand-born teenager killed in a massacre in Norway 10 years ago says.

Palmerston North-born Sharidyn Svebakk-Bohn, known as Sissi, was gunned down on Utoya Island in 2011. She had been living in Norway since she was a baby.

The 14-year-old was among 76 people killed in a summer camp on the island and a bomb blast in Oslo - Norway's worst massacre since World War II.

In an emotional interview today, her mum, Vanessa Svebakk, shared a precious memory about her daughter.

"About a month or so before Sharidyn went to Utoya her class was asked to write about the person they admired the most and a lot of the kids, they wrote about Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King," she told 1 NEWS.

"A few weeks after they were given this assignment we had a parents' meeting and all the parents came to Sharidyn's school and outside the classroom there was a board, a noticeboard where the teacher had put up all the assignments that the kids in Sharidyn's class had done, and Sharidyn."

Svebakk said while looking for her daughter's work, she overheard some other parents talking, saying "oh wow, she's written about her mother".

"I looked a little bit closer and then we realised that Sharidyn had written about me, that I was the person she admired the most and her hero," she recalled tearfully.

"And then she explained why and all the other parents thought it was so beautiful and lovely that our daughter had written about her mum."

Later when Svebakk asked her daughter why she wrote about her, she recalled: "She said 'there's no more important person in my world mum than you'."

A karakia half a world away has honoured Sharidyn's memory. A special service was held last night in Norway and a Norwegian national memorial for all victims will be held in the capital tomorrow.

Sharidyn Svebakk-Bohn's mum Vanessa Svebakk looks at her headstone.

Following the massacre, in 2016, Svebakk-Bohn's family moved back to New Zealand and settled in Mt Maunganui.

"It was a welcome change and a more everyday existence," Svebakk said.  

Sharidyn Svebakk-Bohn

In 2013, the family, of Tūhoe, Ngāti Whātua and Tūwharetoa descent, planted a tree to honour Sharidyn - who would have turned 24 last week - at the Mount.

Sharidyn Svebakk-Bohn's mum Vanessa Svebakk held back tears talking about her daughter, 10 years on from her death.