New Zealand Journalist Makes History As First Person With Face Tattoo To Present News

It is not every time you see a news presenter with a face tattoo.
However, Oriini Kaipara from Zealand has made history by becoming the first prime-time newsreader to sport a traditional Maori chic tattoo.
 Kaipara made headlines worldwide after hosting her first 6 p.m. bulletin for Newshub on the TV channel Three, with many lauding the milestone as a win for Māori representation.
“I was really elated. I was over the moon,” Kaipara told CNN of the moment she found out she would cover the primetime slot. “It’s a huge honor. I don’t know how to deal with the emotions.”
Kaipara’s Christmas Day presenting role was the first of six consecutive days covering for the primetime news show’s permanent anchors, although her stint will continue into early January and she said she may be called again in the future.
The 38-year-old is already the permanent anchor of the 4:30 p.m. “Newshub Live” bulletin, and previously made history in 2019 while working at TVNZ, when she became the first person with Māori facial markings to present a mainstream TV news program.
In the tradition of the Māori people, who are the indigenous people of what is now New Zealand, facial markings are tattooed on the chin for women and known as moko kauae, while for men they cover most of the face and are known as mataora.
Kaipara got her “moko” in January 2019, which she says was a personal decision she made for grounding reasons, to remind her of her power and identity as a Māori woman.
“When I doubt myself, and I see my reflection in the mirror, I’m not just looking at myself,” Kaipara told CNN. “I’m looking at my grandmother and my mother, and my daughters, and hers to come after me, as well as all the other women, Māori girls out there and it empowers me.”
Having begun her career in 2005, Kaipara said hosting the primetime news slot was the “pinnacle” of her journalistic dreams, although it was a “bittersweet moment” because her mother, who recently passed away, couldn’t share the moment with her.
Despite all the positive comments, there have also been negative reactions to Kaipara’s presenting, especially as she often uses Māori phrases such as “E haere ake nei” (still to come), “Ū tonu mai” (stay with us) and “Taihoa e haere” (don’t go just yet).
The Māori language is hugely important to Kaipara whose ultimate goal is encouraging people to speak the language that was “beaten out of my grandmother’s generation” and reclaim it for Māori people.

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