Carn Parata

Sonya and Carn were determined to give their pepe the best start in life.
“We just had some goals; we wrote them up on a whiteboard and, about five months ago, we put on the board that we were going to be in our own home by the end of the year”.
“I didn’t know if we were actually going to get there, but just seeing it on the board as a reminder was what kept me chasing things up. We’re very fortunate, and lucky to be honest.”

For Carn Parata and Sonya Matthewson, the arrival of a beautiful baby boy was the driver behind wanting to settle into their very own home.

Carn, 26, and Sonya, 35, say that, after a whirlwind 12 months of hard work and good fortune, they are proof that any whānau can achieve their dreams.

Their four-month-old son, Kikorangi, has a sweet story behind his name. While living in Australia, a younger Carn was called ‘Blue’ most of the time. They struck up a friendship with another Māori whānau, who began calling Carn ‘Keek’ or ‘Keekz’ – short for Kikorangi, a Te Reo Māori word for blue. The name stuck, and Carn eventually had the work inked across his back.

And now his son bears the name too.

The Oamaru couple are ecstatic to be moving into their own home, just nine days before Christmas Day. Carn says it’s the best Christmas present he could ever give his whānau.

“We’ve got heaps of whānau to support us so the move will only take a day, if that.” Even the drudgery of moving house doesn’t dampen his spirits.

Both of Ngāi Tahu descent, the pair were fortunate to have been able to contribute two Whai Rawa accounts to their first home deposit. Sonya transferred her Whai Rawa funds into Carn’s to make the withdrawal process easier.

“It wasn’t much, but it’s really going to help with paying the lawyers and those little bits and pieces that come with it.

“I know our funds weren’t huge but it was that small amount that got everything over the line for us. We didn’t have enough deposit with just our KiwiSaver, so it’s really thanks to our Whai Rawa accounts that we own a house.

“With all of the stuff you’ve got to deal with when you’re trying to buy a home, Whai Rawa was the easiest to work through. From lawyers to banks and finance, and then my partner at home with our baby during the day, it was pretty tough. I’d be getting calls from the bank, then calling Sonya to let her know to call you guys [Whai Rawa staff]… It was pretty full on!”

Sonya and Carn were determined to give their pepe the best start in life.

“We just had some goals; we wrote them up on a whiteboard and, about five months ago, we put on the board that we were going to be in our own home by the end of the year”.

“I didn’t know if we were actually going to get there, but just seeing it on the board as a reminder was what kept me chasing things up. We’re very fortunate, and lucky to be honest.”

Their experience with Whai Rawa and withdrawing their funds for a mortgage have made Carn and Sonya determined to give Kikorangi the same financial opportunity and lessons.

“The key thing is that when Keek grows up, I’ll be able to encourage him to continue putting into his Whai Rawa account. It was the first thing we wanted to do when Kikorangi was born – open up an account for him.”

Carn says realising the dream of homeownership with a family of his own means everything to him.

“I’ve travelled all around the world, through Europe and parts of Asia and there’s really no place like home. As a kid, we moved around a lot. It’s great to have a place we can call our own now.”