Mataio Brown, is a New Zealand born Samoan author and communicator who works to eradicate domestic violence by supporting those who perpetrate violence, to heal.

Mataio, an internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist, is a survivor of family violence and childhood sexual abuse and started his domestic violence advocacy from sharing his story with the men who frequented his busy Christchurch barbershop, My Fathers Barbers, as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection.

Matt has cut everyone from All Blacks to the Wu Tang Clan but his true calling; he believes lies in his work to redefine societies view of masculinity and to help end the cycle of domestic violence affecting whānau all over New Zealand; hosting free men’s anti violence support groups from locations like his barbershop, construction sites, prisons and on marae. He has since facilitated multiple programs inside Christchurch Men’s Prison and Te Puna Wai O Tuhinapo, a Christchurch youth justice facility and named a Corrections NZ patron in 2020.

Since 2018, Matt and Sarah have partnered with the Ministry of Social Development as ambassadors for their ‘It’s not OK Campaign’ and are currently funded to develop an app; InnerBoy to promote accessible healing for indigenous men. The couple are proud ambassadors for the work of Aviva Families, a family violence service centre in Christchurch and for MATE; a domestic violence research department in Griffith University in Australia.

Together the couple co-founded She Is Not Your Rehab and launched the concept in Matt’s 2019 TEDx talk. He says the movement is an invitation for men to acknowledge their own childhood trauma and to take responsibility for their healing so that they can transform their pain instead of transmitting it on those around them.

A New Zealand Māori (Ngāpuhi/Te Rarawa) wāhine, Sarah is a writer, celebrant and producer who is passionate about the mandate of ‘creating violence free communities’ and has worked alongside Matt since his brands began.

She co-founded Sister Sister, a digital marketing agency with her sister Ngaroma and works with clients across Aotearoa, NZ to tell stories with creativity and purpose. Sarah is also in her final semester of study and placement to become a registered therapist.

The couple released their first book; a NZ #1 Bestseller She Is Not Your Rehab with the goal to encourage intergenerational healing in 2021, raising 100k and donating 10k+ copies of the book to refuges and all NZ prisons, simultaneously launching a successful book club program inside prison. In November 2022 they opened the She Is Not Your Rehab art gallery which hosts the exhibition; ‘Who is She?’ in collaboration with Mr G; a renowned NZ artist.

Both Sarah and Matt became members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2022 and were awarded a Commonwealth Points of Light award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth before she passed.

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