Aug. 8, 2022, 8:51 p.m.
Matenga Ashby, CEO of Prehome Kaikohe, wants to build affordable healthy homes and streamline the consenting process for whānau so they can build on their papakāinga. Matenga is also on a personal mission to help others avoid what happened to his brother. While living in Auckland, his younger brother contracted rheumatic fever due to their living conditions and had to have heart surgery.
Recently announced as a winner of an Impact Award, celebrating extraordinary New Zealanders as part of the Festival for the Future, Matenga has big aspirations to solve homelessness and bring people back to their land.
He has already brokered relationships with people within the building industry, Far North District Council, Northland Inc and Ngā Whetū o Te Wā Trust to get more people into homes and try to improve the housing crisis that exists in Te Tai Tokerau.
Rick Poole from the Far North District Council said, "He's really putting himself out there to solve a problem, that a lot of people are talking about but nobody seems to be doing a lot about it".
He wants to build on this further to form more partnerships with people who can make this dream a reality.
Matenga says his dream is to "create sustainable communities and just put houses down for our whānau and help our whānau, and also create easier access for suitable housing for our whānau"
At only 21 years of age, he is determined to "Educate our whānau, let them know about the processes, let them know about these healthy home options and to help simplify whilst giving easier access to these housing solutions".
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