Māori Newsreader Becomes First Person with Facial Markings to Present Primetime News

Māori Newsreader Becomes First Person with Facial Markings to Present Primetime News

Māori Newsreader Becomes First Person with Facial Markings to Present Primetime News

A Māori newsreader has made history by becoming the first person with traditional facial markings to host a primetime news on national television.

Oriini Kaipara made headlines worldwide after hosting her first 6 p.m. bulletin for Newshub on the TV channel Three, in New Zealand, with many lauding the milestone as a win for Māori representation.

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.

Oriini 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.

The mother-of-four from Auckland discovered she was 100 per cent Māori after taking a DNA test.

For Māori women the moko was a rite of passage, marking the passage between girl and adulthood and symbolises transformation.

Tā moko is the traditional tattooing practised used in New Zealand by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

It is carried out by Tohunga-tā-moko, or tattooists, who are considered sacred or 'tapu' in Māori culture. 

Kaipara is bilingual and of Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Rangitihi descent, something she proudly displays while working as a prominent journalist.

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.

Kaipara hopes young Māori girls will take inspiration from her story as a sign that times are changing.

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.

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Fabrice Beaux

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Fabrice Beaux is CEO and Founder of InsterHyve Systems Genève-based managed IT service provider. They provide the latest and customized IT Solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.


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