Oriini Kaipara, a New Zealand journalist of Maori descent, made history last week when she became the first Maori person to host a prime Time program on national television while tattooed with traditional markings on his face.
“I was really overjoyed, I was above the moon,” Kaipara told CNN when asked to tell about the moment she learned she would present the Newshub news program at 6pm on New Zealand Channel 3. “It’s a huge honor. I do not know how to deal with emotions.” She submitted it for 6 days, starting on Christmas Eve, and may be called to submit it again in the future.
Despite the great excitement, this is not the first TV appearance of the 38-year-old Kaipara. She serves as a regular presenter on the channel on 16:30, and in 2019 made history when she was the first with illuminated facial features to present a mainstream TV show while working for the TVNZ channel.
News presenter response: “It empowers me”
The Maori are natives of the country now called New Zealand. According to the Maori tradition, women tattoo their chin with ornaments called moko kauae, and men cover most of their faces with tattoos called mataora. Kaipara received her “Moko” only 3 years ago, explaining that she made it as a personal decision designed to remind her of her power and identity as a Maori woman.
“When I doubt myself, and I see my reflection in the mirror, I’m not just looking at myself,” Kaipara told CNN. “I look at my grandmother and my mother, and my daughters and her daughters who will come after me. I look at all the other women, the Maori girls who are out there, and it empowers me.”