TAANIKO NORDSTROM


Speaking topics: identity and culture, women in entrepreneurship, building an indigenous media company, the arts and social justice


Taaniko is an emerging Māori leader and media entrepreneur working to tackle one of Aotearoa New Zealand's biggest challenges.

In Aotearoa, Māori are significantly over-represented in the prison population and underlying themes behind this include a lack of understanding around identity, heritage, tikanga, whakapapa and kawa.

Taaniko co-counded, Soldiers Rd in 2013, orginally using modern media, props and photography to recreate vintage style Māori portraits. They started to notice the positive impact this had on men, women, children and whanau of all cultures and backgrounds, but particularly for Māori, and wondered if it might have an impact on people in prisons. They have since partnered with NZ Corrections in a ground breaking pilot which aims to transform prisoner cultural identity and self perception as an innovative way to approach prison recidivism rates.