Kaiha Hemara is eyeing up the chance to help build a house for a Fijian family in need.

The Whangārei teen is hoping to go on Habitat for Humanity Northland's Global Village trip to Fiji in May.

Hemara said he wants to go because he has never been to another country before, and he thought it would be nice to help a family.

The 17-year-old first started volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore around the middle of last year as work experience through Tikipunga High School.


School might have finished but he has continued to work at the Kioreroa Rd store, helping with pick-ups and deliveries, repairing items and other tasks.

"You're doing something everyday, something different," Hemara said.

It's how he came to know about the trip and it is the first time Habitat for Humanity Northland has sent a team on a trip.

Northland general manager Carina Dickson said Hemara "doesn't have the means to get over there but he would get so much out of it".

Fittingly, Hemara is also enrolled in a construction course at NorthTec this year.

Sausage sizzles and a car wash are in the pipeline to fundraise for Hemara for the trip, but trip leader Beth Cooper and Dickson are also hoping the community will help sponsor Hemara so he can go.

In fact, if they can get enough sponsorship they want to take several young people.

Aside from Hemara, Cooper is looking for other volunteers to join the trip.


"We'd like to take a team of 14 or more, we have five at the moment."

The trip, from May 5 to 11, will see a team of volunteers head to a village out of Nadi and build a whole house in a week, alongside the family who will live in the finished house.

"You don't have to have construction experience, you just have to have reasonable health," Cooper said.

The team will be tasked by a local builder and use building materials sourced in Fiji to build a house designed to withstand category five storms.

Cooper went on her first Global Village trip to Portugal last year and said it was really rewarding.

"The real need you see and you're helping and you're making a difference, it's tangible."

Volunteers on the Fiji trip will need to pay $1475 plus their airfare. Cooper said often people tack a holiday on to the end of a trip.

If you want to join the trip yourself, sponsor a young person or just make a donation to the trip, contact Beth Cooper on 021 381 135 or email beth.cooper@habitat.org.nz