TV presenter with Māori face tattoo hits back at cruel trolls

Tattoos have always been a topic of debate, and when it comes to having one on the face, opinions tend to be even more divided. But for Oriini Kaipara, a 41-year-old television presenter from New Zealand, her facial tattoo is not just a fashion statement – it is a powerful symbol of her cultural identity.

Kaipara made history by becoming the first primetime TV news bulletin presenter to proudly wear a moko kauae, a traditional Māori chin tattoo. This sacred female tattoo is not only a beautiful adornment but also a deep expression of Māori identity, representing political, cultural, social, and spiritual aspirations.


However, not everyone was supportive of Kaipara’s bold choice. A viewer named David took offense and sent an email to the broadcaster expressing his discontent. He described the tattoo as “offensive and aggressive-looking” and criticized Kaipara for occasionally using the Māori language during her broadcasts.

Instead of remaining silent, Kaipara decided to address the issue publicly. She shared David’s email on Instagram with a dignified response.

“Today I had enough. I responded. I never do that, I broke my own code and hit the send button,” she wrote on an Instagram story.

She acknowledged David’s spelling mistake of the word “moko” and emphasized that her tattoo is not meant to be threatening or offensive. She implored him to let go of his cultural ignorance and bias, stating that discrimination, harassment, and prejudice have no place in today’s society.


Despite David’s criticism, Kaipara receives overwhelming support and positive comments about her tattoo from the majority of people. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, she expressed that the negative reactions only reinforce the need for more Māori advocates in key roles across various sectors.

The TV presenter’s response serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of cultural pride and resilience. Kaipara’s decision to embrace her identity and stand up against discriminatory beliefs resonates with people of all backgrounds. She has become an inspiration for others to confidently celebrate their own identities and challenge prejudice without hesitation.


In a world where diversity is increasingly valued, it is crucial to recognize and respect different cultural expressions. Kaipara’s moko kauae is a testament to the beauty and significance of Māori culture. By embracing her heritage, she not only educates and raises awareness but also encourages others to embrace their own cultural identities.

Let us celebrate the achievements of individuals like Oriini Kaipara and promote a society that embraces diversity and cultural pride. Share this article with your family and friends to spread the message of inclusivity and respect.