Oriini Kaipara has become the first journalist to host primetime news with a Maori face tattoo
A New Zealand newsreader has become the first person ever to present prime-time news with a traditional Maori face tattoo. Oriini Kaipara first appeared on television with the tattoo in 2019 when she presented a mid-day broadcast. But she took a step forward this week when she read out the prime-time news as temporary replacement for the regular evening hosts of Newshub's 6 o'clock bulletin, according to Indy100. The 37-year-old news presenter has a tattoo on her lower chin which is usually worn by indigenous Maori women. The tattoo is called moko kauae.
The journalist shared images and video of her debut as prime-time news presenter on her Instagram account. In the images, she wears the tattoo on her lower chin with a big smile. She captioned the post, “6pm Debut.”
Take a look at it here:
So far, over 10,000 users have liked the post. As soon as her photos started getting viral, several people praised her as an “inspiration” to many others.
“Congratulations! Prime Time. You are a trailblazer, a true pioneer and are so inspirational to so many beyond NZ,” said one user.
“Made a great occasion of switching on the telly and cheering when you came on. So awesome to see you on at prime time,” said another.
“Amazing achievement!! Other girls from your community will see this and feel inspired to go on and also achieve great things... This is why representation matters,” said a third user.
Another comment, on similar lines, read, “You just opened the door for all your sisters to walk freely in their culture.”
“There's hope for the world,” wrote another one.
“So much respect,” said another.
Ms Kaipara, an award-winning journalist, is of Ngati Awa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Rangitihi, and Ngai Tuhoe descent. She worked at Television New Zealand, commonly referred to as TVNZ, when she first appeared on mid-day broadcast. In July this year, she moved to Discovery-owned Three. She has had the traditional lower chin tattoo for nearly three years, according to Stuff.
She said that this was unquestionably a move forward, and then went on to outline her goals, which, she said, was “anchoring prime time news”. On the face tattoo, she said that she was aware that she was the first with moko kauae to anchor a primetime newscast at 6 pm. For her, every step that she took was like “like breaking through a glass ceiling”.
A moko kauae represents a Maori woman's extended family and recognises her mana (power), abilities, status and commitment to the collective. It also is a symbol of a woman's service and leadership to her community.
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