A TV presenter with a Māori face tattoo has hit back at a viewer over their ‘bad look’ comment.
New Zealand newsreader Oriini Kaipara took to Instagram on Thursday and responded to a person who had written to Newshub and allegedly said her inking – which he apparently mislabeled as a ‘moku’ – was ‘offensive’ and ‘a bad look’.
In a post, she fumed: “Thank you for all your complaints against me and my ‘moku’. I do find them very difficult to take seriously, given there is no breach of broadcast standards.
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“If I may, I’d like to correct you on one thing – it is moko not ‘moku’. A simple, helpful pronunciation guide of ‘Maw-Caw’ will help you articulate the word correctly.
“I gather your complaints stem from a place of preference on how one must look on-screen, according to you. Moko and people with them are not threatening, nor do they deserve such discrimination, harassment or prejudice.
“Moko are ancient cultural markings unique to the indigenous people of Aotearoa, myself included. We mean no harm or ill intent, nor do we deserve to be treated with such disregard. Please refrain from complaining further, and restrain your cultural ignorance and bias for another lifetime, preferably in the 1800s.”
The TV presenter ended her message with a polite goodbye, saying: “Nga mihi matakuikui o te wa.”
Later on, Kaipara went on to comment: “Today I had enough. I responded. I never do that. I broke my own code and hit the send button.”
The viewer who reportedly objected to Kaipara allegedly also said he wasn’t happy that the Maori language was used, despite the fact it’s used in most of the country’s TV broadcasts.
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He reportedly penned: “We continue to object strongly to you using a Maori TV presenter with a moku, which is offensive and aggressive looking. A bad look.
“She also bursts into the Maori language which we do not understand. Stop it now.”
In an interview with New Zealand Herald, Kaipara claimed that the viewer in question had been sending ‘relentless’ complaints.
She told the news outlet: “The fact that my existence triggers some people is testament to why we need more Maori advocates in key roles across every sector.”
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