Why Kaitaia's local hero Ricky Houghton believes in miracles

Watch the video for the full report from The Hui.

Local hero Ricky Houghton is on a mission to help those who can't help themselves in the far north.

At the helm of social service provider He Korowai Trust in Kaitaia, Mr Houghton and his team support the most vulnerable in the community.

"He Korowai Trust is the service of last resort. There is nothing after He Korowai. Unfortunately, families end up in hospitals, in prisons, or they end up in cemeteries."

The trust has been operating for more than 17 years supporting, housing and up-skilling thousands of whanau in the far north.

In the last decade, Mr Houghton and his team have saved more than 550 homes from mortgageĀ sales through financial education and kept more than 6000 people in his rohe housed.

Mr Houghton says he loves the whanau he works with.

"I believe in miracles - I see miracles every day with families that I work with."

Ricky himself was a product of the state care system. He suffered horrific abuse as a child, even getting shock treatment. He says, the scars are lifelong, but it gives him a deeper connection to those he helps.

This year, Ricky was acknowledged for his tireless work in Kaitaia, winning the Local Hero Award at the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards. However, it's not the accolades but the people that give him the most joy.

The Hui