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TV newsreader hits back at a nasty viewer who said her Māori face tattoo was a 'bad look'

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

TV newsreader hits back at a nasty viewer who said her Māori face tattoo was a 'bad look'

New Zealand news presenter Oriini Kaipara has hit back at a racist viewer who complained about her Maori face tattoo.

The Newshub journalist took to her Instagram, revealing how the viewer named ‘David’ called her moko kauae, a traditional Maori tattoo that covers the lips and chin, too ‘aggressive’.

In one of her stories, the presenter screenshot an email the man penned to Kaipara and her entire newsroom that read: “We continue to object strongly to you using a Māori newsreader with a moku which is offensive and aggressive looking. 

“A bad look.”

He continued: “She also bursts into the Māori language which we do not understand. Stop it now.”

While the Maori presenter shared that she usually doesn’t respond to her critics, she had simply ‘enough’ that day and decided to hit the ‘send button’.

In her next story, Kaipara screenshot her email in response to the viewer.

Credit: Oriini.Kaipara (OFFICIAL) / Instagram
Credit: Oriini.Kaipara (OFFICIAL) / Instagram

Kia ora David,” it began. “Thank you for all your complaints against me and my ‘moku'. I do find them very difficult to take seriously given there is no breach of broadcast standards.

“If I may, I’d like to correct you on one thing - it is moko not moku.

“A simple, helpful pronunciation guide of ‘Maw-Caw’ will help you articulate the word correctly.”

She added that David's stance on her tattoo merely came from a ‘place of preference on how one must look on-screen'.

She continued: “Moko and people with them are not threatening nor do they deserve such discrimination, harassment and prejudice. Moko are ancient cultural markings unique to the indigenous people of Aotearoa, myself included.”

The presenter concluded her message with: “Please refrain from complaining further, and restrain your cultural ignorance and bias for another lifetime, preferably in the 1800s.”

Kaipara made history last year by becoming the first woman to bear the tattoo on the primetime news show.

She told Stuff that she decided to get the face tattoo to become more connected with her culture.

Kaipara also remarked how having someone who looked like her on mainstream television is groundbreaking for her community.

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

Featured Image Credit: Oriini Kaipara (OFFICIAL) / Instagram

Topics: News, World News, Racism

Charisa Bossinakis
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