Based at Matapouri Bay, in Te Taitokerau, Dorothy Waetford is inspired by her local surroundings and whānau. Dorothy trained as a dancer initially performing with Te Kanikani o Te Rangatahi and Taiao Māori Dance Theatre. She later pursued teacher training that led to an applied arts course, introducing Dorothy to Ngā Kaihanga Uku Māori Clay Workers Collective and Te Ātinga Contemporary Māori Visual Arts committee of Toi Māori Aotearoa. In recent years, she has focused her attention towards hapū art projects and iwi strategies for art and cultural development. Dorothy is part of the establishment board for Toi Ngāpuhi, an advocacy and support agency working across Te Taitokerau.