Newsreader Oriini Kaipara from Maori makes history as she becomes the first person with a traditional lower chin tattoo to anchor primetime news
A Kiwi newsreader has made history by becoming the first person to anchor a TV news bulletin with a traditional face tattoo.
Oriini Kaipara, 37, who has a moko kauae, a traditional lower chin tattoo worn by Māori women, read Newshub Live’s 6pm news bulletin in New Zealand on Monday.
The mother-of-four from Auckland discovered she was 100 per cent Māori after taking a DNA test in 2017.
The newsreader then decided to adopt the Māori tattoo in 2019 in a process known as Tā moko, which represents family heritage and social status.
For Māori women the moko was a rite of passage, marking the passage between girl and adulthood and symbolises transformation.
Kaipara said presenting the primetime bulletin fulfilled a lifelong dream and said she hoped she was the first in a long line of Māori women reading the news with traditional tattoos.
‘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,’ she told Stuff.
Kaipara made headlines in 2019 when she became the first person with a face tattoo to present mainstream news when filling in for TVNZ’s midday broadcast.
She regularly does packages for the main bulletin, becoming a fan favourite because of her Maori markings.
New Zealand’s foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta also has a moko kauae, becoming the first female MP to wear one in parliament.
The politician has links to Māori royalty, with her father the adopted son of King Korokī.
She got the tattoo in 2016 and said it offers ‘positive ways to enable cultural expression and pride in being Māori.