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Journalist Makes History As First Person With Māori Face Tattoo To Present Primetime News

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

Journalist Makes History As First Person With Māori Face Tattoo To Present Primetime News

A newsreader in New Zealand has made history by becoming the first person to present the news with a Māori face tattoo.

Oriini Kaipara was appointed the role of reading the 6pm news bulletin for Newshub between Christmas and New Year, filling in for hosts Sam Hayes and Mike McRoberts.

She told Stuff she has achieved her life long goal with the appointment, after making history in 2019 as the first person with a Māori face tattoo to present mainstream news on TVNZ at midday.

Kaipara has a moko kauae, a traditional lower chin tattoo worn by Māori women, which she has had for three years.

"It's really exciting, I'm really enjoying it," Kaipara told Stuff.

"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.

"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."

Kaipara discovered in 2017 that she was 100 percent Māori, of Tuhoe, Ngati Awa, Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa descent.

She got the moko kauae after the discovery.

"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," she said.

Kaipara has been rising through the ranks of New Zealand media, leaving TVNZ earlier this year to join Three.

She has a permanent presenting role at 4.30pm on Newshub Live and is also currently filling in on the late night news.

She spoke about the impact her role had and the importance of visibility.

"I've been realising for a while that it's much bigger than just reading the news, or doing stories that matter to all of us," she said.

"It's also a big win for this generation and the next 10 generations - don't let identity or your culture hold you back from anything.

"In fact, you use it as your power, to be greater and do great things for everyone.

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

Kaipara will read the news on Newshub Live until December 30.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/oriinz

Topics: New Zealand, News

Hannah Blackiston
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