Woman becomes first person ever with Māori face tattoo to present news

Woman becomes first person ever with Māori face tattoo to present news

An “inspiring” newsreader has made history as the first person with a Māori face tattoo to present primetime news.

Oriini Kaipara hosted Newshub’s 6 o’clock news on Monday (December 27) to fill in for regular hosts Sam Hayes and Mike McRoberts. She is set to take up a permanent role for the news outlet’s 4.30pm bulletin but hopes to become a presenter for the 6.00pm slot.

Kaipara explained that she got the tattoo in 2017 after a DNA test revealed she was 100 per cent Māori. The moko kauae – a sacred lower chin tattoo worn by Māori women – garnered much positive attention online, with one expressing the importance of “preserving culture in these kinds of diverse, human and beautiful ways.”

Talking to Stuff, she said: “It’s really exciting. I’m really enjoying it. I’m not speechless, but it’s a buzz. I am proud of how far I’ve come in being able to anchor 6pm right now.”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter 

“It’s breaking new ground for us as Māori, but also for people of colour,” she said. “Whether you’ve got a moko kauae or not.”

“I’m very much aware that I’m the first [with moko kauae] to anchor a six o’clock primetime news bulletin,

“That is always at the back of my mind, that every step I make is like breaking through a glass ceiling,” she added.

Social feeds were flooded with love and support for the journalist, with many “hoping this 6pm news slot is made permanent for Oriini.”

The 37-year-old first made headlines when she presented TVNZ’s midday broadcast in 2019.

“It’s definitely a step forward, and a step-up. If there was a goal for me, it would be anchoring prime time news, and that’s happened,” she said.

“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.”

The Conversation (0)