In each newsletter, we profile one of our Charitable Trust Grant recipients. This quarter, we give an update on Rahera Fox.

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The stars aligned for Rahera Fox when she picked up a photography paper alongside her Te Reo degree, discovering a hidden talent and a passion that would change the course of her life.

With the support from the Te Mana Charitable Trust, Rahera completed her year-long photography paper in Christchurch in 2014.

“I picked up a camera and that was it really. It changed my whole direction from that moment,” she says.

Tutors recognised her gift for photography and she was accepted into the full-time course for the following year, but a combination of personal circumstances and a desire to put her skills into action for her people brought Rahera home to Matatā.

Rahera has been capturing Ngāti Rangitihi hui and events on behalf of Te Mana ever since.

“I look for the simple truth. I think that’s who we are as Māori. We look for an essence and we’re lucky enough we see it; and if I’m lucky enough I can capture it,” she says.

“My photography connection to Ngāti Rangitihi lands and people has gone towards my own discovery and connection to who I am as a descendent.”

Rahera doesn’t take her job lightly, valuing the responsibility of capturing people and moments very highly.

“Any moment captured is a moment captured forever, and that’s a privilege to me. You need to do it right because it deserves that.

“The responsibility of doing it right and with integrity is very important for me. It’s the mana and the mauri you’re capturing.

Rahera is grateful to the people of Ngāti Rangitihi who have let her photograph them over the past few years. She continues to have big hopes and dreams for her photography career, and is hoping to move more into landscape photography, capturing the changing environment and lands of the Iwi.