Journalist makes history as first person with Māori face tattoo to anchor mainstream news broadcast

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  • Oriini Kaipara
    New Zealand broadcaster

Māori journalist Oriini Kaipara made history as the first woman with a moko kauae traditional tattoo to anchor a primetime news broadcast.

Breaking new ground: Kaipara, who has the Māori lower chin tattoo, anchored at Newshub Live's news bulletin at 6 p.m. on Monday.

  • The moko kauae tattoo that is worn by Māori women represents the leadership and service that one has given to her community and her whānau (extended family), according to Yahoo Sports.

  • “I am proud of how far I’ve come in being able to anchor 6 p.m. right now,” Kaipara told Stuff. 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.”

  • The journalist had previously made headlines in 2019 as the first woman with a moko kauae to anchor TVNZ 1’s midday news bulletin. It is her ultimate goal to host the 6 p.m. news on the Discovery-owned network Three.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oriini Kaipara (@oriinz)

  • Kaipara, a former documentary filmmaker, is of Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Rangitihi descent. She proudly displays her tattoo and wishes to inspire others to embrace their culture.

  • “That is always at the back of my mind, that every step I make is like breaking through a glass ceiling,” she said. “It’s breaking new ground for us as Māori, but also for people of color. Whether you’ve got a moko kauae or not.”

  • “I've been realizing for a while that it's much bigger than just reading the news, or doing stories that matter to all of us,” Kaipara added. “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.”

Featured Images via @oriinz

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