TV presenter with Māori face tattoo hits back at cruel trolls

Oriini Kaipara, a TV presenter adorned with a traditional Māori face tattoo, faced criticism from a viewer named David for her moko kauae, a revered cultural marking worn by Māori women. Despite David’s disparaging remarks, Kaipara responded gracefully, reaffirming pride in her cultural heritage and identity.

Māori consider moko kauae profound symbols of heritage and identity, representing familial connections, community leadership, and honoring lineage, status, and capabilities. Kaipara made history as New Zealand’s first primetime TV news bulletin presenter with a moko kauae, breaking barriers and celebrating her culture.

In response to David’s email criticizing her appearance and language use, Kaipara shared screenshots on her Instagram story and replied with dignity. Correcting his spelling of moko, she asserted that moko and its wearers are not threatening and deserve respect, urging him to refrain from further complaints and cultural ignorance.

Despite encountering cruel trolls like David, Kaipara emphasized that most comments she receives are positive. She highlighted the need for more Māori advocates in key roles, stating that her existence triggers some people, emphasizing the importance of cultural pride and resilience.

Kaipara’s dignified response serves as a powerful reminder to embrace cultural identity unapologetically and challenge discriminatory attitudes.

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