Our board

Brent Martin

Brent Martin was raised in Whangarei, attending all the local schools. He is a self-employed chartered accountant, a founding Board Member of the Whangarei Youth Trust, the current Chairman and is also Chairman of Northland Cricket Association.

Brent has three children of his own and has a passion for youth issues and sport.

Lee Maddox

Lee joined the board in January 2015 and brings a wealth of commercial expertise to the board.   Lee is a  senior sales and marketing leader, currently responsible for all aspects of the Small and Medium Enterprise Segment for Vodafone including all revenue streams.    Lee has over 11 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, having held positions in Marketing, Finance and the Executive Teams. 

Helen Erceg  

Helen has been doing various forms of youth work in the youth community of Whangarei for the past three years Including previously working for 24/7 Youth Work and Whangarei Youth Community Trust as a trust administrator as well as leading and mentoring youth in her local Church community. 

Helen has completed her Diploma in Business at the beginning of 2018; during her journey over the past few years Helen really discovered her passion for young people and seeing them grow into their potential.  Helen is now focusing on her calling to pursue this through a Church ministry context. Helen is now finishing her Theological studies at Carey Baptist College as well as following a Youth Pastoral Leadership Ministry track and is currently placed at Whangarei Central Baptist Church as a Student Youth Pastor.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi,  With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

Emma Kirkman  

Emma joined the board in January 2018. As an organisational development strategist, she brings global leadership experience across a diverse range of industries including technology, banking, financial services and retail. Emma's strengths have a particular focus on driving organisational delivery through engaged and motivated teams.

Being an internationally certified coach Emma is passionate about helping people be the best they can be - which is why she is proud to be associated with an organisation like Whangarei Youth Space.

Heemi Kapu Kingi  

Heemi is a passionate youth advocate who was raised in the North. During his time as a youth in Whangarei Heemi witnessed and endured the many hardships, this only inspired him to pursue greater learning to help with his future goals of bettering the future for youth in Whangarei. He moved to Wellington completed a degree at Victoria University (Bachelor of Arts) and is now back in the north working for Te Puni Kōkiri working as a regional advisor for their Rangatahi Development and Leadership programme. With the New Year comes new goals, so Heemi is now joining the WYS board as a cultural advisor. He hopes to bring a positive vibe and supportive attitude to the team so that we can see the progress for rangatahi within the North.

Asaeli Pene

Asaeli has a passion for seeing change occur for youth. After a violent period of his life during the earlier years of high school, it was a Peer Mediation Course that took place at the school which helped him learn about conflict resolution, the power of the voice and led him to the motivation to change.  Asaeli soon realised that making a change out there meant first making change within himself. 

A powerful speech at Nga Manu Korero by his close friend in 2016 also made him see things from a culture perspective.  Asaeli begun to realise how much mainstream media affects our Maori culture and how it slowly, but surely, puts identity as Maori second and identity as gang affiliated individuals first. This lead to an understanding that this issue could potentially wipe out Maori culture, and has influenced the direction of his life significantly.

After graduating his senior year at High School in 2016, the first to complete school in his family, Asaeli starts a Bachelor of Applied Social Work at North Tec in 2018. His goal is to be a Social Worker to give back to his community and to make a difference for young people in Whangarei. 

Shaquille Shortland  


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PO Box 1483, Whangarei 0140

Email: contact@youthspace.co.nz
Phone: (09) 972 7248
Fax: (09) 972 7249

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