Woman Becomes First to Read News on TV with a Maori Tattoo

A journalist in New Zealand, Oriini Kaipara made history by becoming the first person with a traditional face tattoo to anchor a primetime news broadcast. Kaipara was commended by many people who said  ‘representation matters’.

Kaipara, 37, who has an ethnic lower chin tattoo worn by Māori women called a moko kauae, read Newshub Live 6 pm news bulletin on Monday. Kaipara, who is filling in for the regular hosts on the Newshub Live evening show, created waves online by becoming the first Māori woman with a moko kauae to present primetime news on television.

On Instagram, Kaipara shared a few snippets from her office at Discovery Network, which owns Newshub and Three.

She explained that she got the tattoo in 2017 after a DNA test revealed she was 100 percent Māori.

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The moko kauae represents a rite of passage, marking the passage between girl and adulthood and symbolizes a personal process of transformation.

She left TVNZ and landed at Three in May, to take up a permanent presenting role on Newshub Live at 4.30 pm.

“We’ve got a good team at Newshub, I don’t feel the pressure as much as I used to when I first started out in journalism. But that comes with doing the hard yards, and then actually realising it and doing it is really exciting.”

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