Maori Artist Showcase: Photographer, Damien Nikora


Born in Pōneke (Wellington) Raised in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) Damien Nikora is a well-respected
photographer who literally lives the whakataukī …

“if you find a job you’re passionate about you’ll never work a day in your life”

Ko Ruahine tōku maunga
Ko Manawatū tōku awa
Ko Tākitimu tōku waka
Ko Mākirikiri tōku marae
Ko Aotea tōku wharetūpuna
Ko Ngāti Kahungungu tōku iwi
Ko Ngāti Pākā tōku hapū

Damien started out his career as a concept artist, 3D model designer and texturiser before taking up photography full time and building his own studio while living in the Gold Coast before moving back to Aotearoa in 2008.

Damien reflects... “Initially photography was only about capturing a beautiful photo, but now it’s more about capturing the beauty in people even if it means pushing boundaries of comfort for a subject or a viewer”.

In 2015 Damien, his wife Whakarongotai and their two tamariki travelled the South East Asia together, taking photographs and documenting their journeys into other indigenous cultures as part of Goodness Hunters International.

Damien says the best way to understand ourselves as individuals, as whanau, as a culture, is to have love, empathy and compassion for other individuals, whanau and cultures, to do the best we can to share with others.

And so Goodness Hunters was born, at the end of the year, Damien and his whanau are cruising Aotearoa for 7 months, on the hunt for more goodness!