Taaniko Nordstrom is an emerging Māori leader and media entrepreneur working to tackle one of Aotearoa New Zealand's biggest challenges. Together with her sister in law, they are creating a world wide impact with their photography business, Soldier's Road. Māori people are significantly over-represented in the prison population in Aotearoa (New Zealand) with underlying reasons that include a lack of understanding around their identity, heritage, traditional customs, descendants and behaviour. Through Soldiers Rd, Taaniko is working to change this.
Recreating vintage style Māori portraits, they noticed the profound and positive effect on men, women, children and families of all cultures and backgrounds, but most particularly Māori. They partnered with NZ Corrections in a groundbreaking pilot aiming to transform prisoner cultural identity and self perception as an innovative way to approach prison recidivism rates. Soldiers Rd have now taken this idea overseas to Australia, the US, Europe and India, and in 2016 started a project called Behind the Wire to continue to their work.