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TV Presenter Celebrates Cultural Heritage and Shuts Down Trolls

||A TV presenter has proudly responded to negative comments about her traditional Māori face tattoo. She emphasizes the importance of cultural heritage and identity.||

Facial tattoos often spark debates online, where some argue that tattoos should be limited to the body while others appreciate their cultural significance.

Oriini Kaipara, a groundbreaking TV presenter, made history when she joined New Zealand’s Newshub as a newsreader. She became the first primetime TV news bulletin presenter with a moko kauae, a revered cultural marking worn by Māori women.


Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand, consider moko kauae as profound symbols of heritage and identity. These facial tattoos, traditionally placed on the lips and chins, symbolize a woman’s familial connections, leadership in her community, and honor her lineage, status, and capabilities.

Despite the overwhelming support and admiration, one viewer known as David, expressed his discontent with Kaipara’s moko kauae in an email to Newshub. He criticized her appearance, calling it “offensive and aggressive-looking” and also complained about her occasional use of the Māori language.

Undeterred by the negativity, Kaipara courageously addressed the issue on her Instagram story, sharing screenshots of David’s messages and responding with grace and dignity. She wrote, “Today I had enough. I responded. I never do that. I broke my own code and hit the send button.”

Not only did Kaipara respond to David’s email, but she also corrected his spelling of “moko.” In her calm and articulate response, she explained that there was no breach of broadcast standards and emphasized that moko and the people who have them are not threatening. She pointed out the discrimination, harassment, and prejudice she had experienced and asked him to refrain from further complaints.

With class and conviction, Kaipara ended her email by saying, “Please restrain your cultural ignorance and bias for another lifetime, preferably in the 1800s.”

Despite the negative criticism, Kaipara emphasized that she mostly receives messages of praise and support. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, she highlighted the importance of having more Māori advocates in various key roles. She stated, “The fact that my existence triggers some people is testament to why we need more Māori advocates in key roles across every sector.”

In summary, Kaipara’s poised response serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of cultural pride and resilience in the face of adversity. She inspires others to embrace their identities unapologetically and challenge discriminatory attitudes.

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