Identities

First woman to present news with Māori face tattoo says people have 'archaic thinking'

New Zealand Maori leader ejected from parliament for refusing to wear 'colonial …

For as progressive as New Zealand is, there is still work to be done when it comes to helping women break through boundaries.

According to research, women in New Zealand still earned 10 per cent less than men in 2022, and Oriini Kaipara has some thoughts on what's behind this.

Kaipara, 39, made strides when she became the first woman to present the news with a Māori face tattoo in 2019.

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The broadcaster, born in Whakatāne, New Zealand, is of Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Rangitihi descent.

Her role at Newshub has helped open the door for Māori women and indigenous people in broadcasting as well as promoted education for indigenous people and cultures.

But like all things, Kaipara believes there is more work to be done.

"I can't believe we're still having to advocate, and push and protest just to have equal respect and equal pay," Kaipara told Now To Love.

She explained that "archaic thinking, misogyny, and pay equity" are all hurdles that women have to face.

Kaipara knows well how archaic thinking can make it difficult for women to exceed in work environments.

When she began her job at Newshub, she pushed back at a viewer who called her moko kauae tattoo "a bad look."

“I gather your complaints stem from a place of preference on how one must look on-screen, according to you," Kaipara said. "Moko and people with them are not threatening, nor do they deserve such discrimination, harassment or prejudice."

She took the opportunity to educate others about her moko kauae tattoo, which is a sacred chin tattoo.

Like many women in the workforce, Kaipara is trying to do her part to help empower women as well as indigenous people.

She told Now To Love that she feels inspired by women in her own life to stand up for Māori rights.

"I was influenced by kuia (older women) who had so much mana and grace, and just carried themselves with an air of beauty and strength," Kaipara said.

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