A television host with traditional Māori facial tattoos responds defiantly to unkind online critics.

A television presenter with a traditional Māori facial tattoo has elegantly addressed negative comments from an online viewer, reaffirming her pride in her cultural heritage and identity.

Facial tattoos, especially those of cultural significance like the moko kauae worn by Māori women, often spark debates online, with some arguing that tattoos should be limited to the body.

Oriini Kaipara, 41, made history as the first primetime TV news bulletin presenter in New Zealand with a moko kauae. Māori view these facial tattoos as profound symbols of heritage and identity, representing familial connections, leadership, and honoring lineage, status, and capabilities.

Despite receiving mostly praise, Kaipara faced criticism from a viewer named David, who found her moko kauae “offensive and aggressive looking” and objected to her use of the Māori language. Undeterred, Kaipara courageously addressed David’s comments on her Instagram story, correcting his spelling of moko and expressing her stance against discrimination, harassment, and prejudice.

In her response, Kaipara emphasized that people with moko are not threatening and do not deserve such discrimination. She encouraged David to refrain from further complaints and to educate himself on cultural matters.

Despite encountering criticism, Kaipara’s graceful response highlights the importance of cultural pride and resilience in the face of adversity. Her actions inspire others to embrace their identities unapologetically and challenge discriminatory attitudes.

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