Maori journalist Olini Kepala becomes the first to show primetime news

Read Time:3 Minute, 12 Second


Writer Given Lavenderland, CNN

A Maori journalist made history in New Zealand, becoming the first person with traditional facial markings to host primetime news on national television.

Oriini Kaipara made global headlines after hosting her first 6pm announcement for Newshub on TV Channel 3, and many people praised this milestone as a victory for Maori representatives.

“I’m really happy. I’m ecstatic,” Kepala told CNN, when she found out that she would cover prime time. “This is a great honor. I don’t know how to deal with emotions.”

Kaipara’s Christmas anchor role is the first day of six consecutive days of coverage by the permanent anchor of a prime-time news program. Although her term will last until the beginning of January, she said she may be called again in the future.

The 38-year-old lady is already the permanent anchor of the “Newshub Live” announcement at 4:30 pm. She previously made history while working at TVNZ in 2019, when she became the first to show mainstream TV news with a Maori face Mark the person program.

In Maori tradition, they are aboriginal people Now in New Zealand, women’s facial markings are tattooed on their chins and are called moko kaauae, while male facial markings cover most of the face and are called mataora.

Kaipara received her “moko” in January 2019. She said it was a personal decision she made for basic reasons to remind her of her rights and identity as a Maori woman.

“When I doubt myself, when I see myself in the mirror, I don’t just look at myself,” Kepara told CNN. “I looked at my grandmother and my mother, and my daughters, and her daughters, and all the other women, the Maori girls there. This gave me strength.”

Maori news host Oriini Kaipara and her colleagues at Newshub.

Maori news host Oriini Kaipara and her colleagues at Newshub. CEDIT: Originated from Instagram

Starting her career in 2005, Kepara said that hosting primetime news shows was the “peak” of her journalistic dreams, even though it was a “bittersweet moment” because her recently deceased mother could not share it with her. time.

Despite the many positive comments, there were also negative reactions to Kaipara’s speech, especially because she often uses Maori phrases such as “E haere ake nei” (coming soon), “Ū tonu mai” (with us) And “Taihoa” e haere” (don’t go for now).

Maori is very important to Kaipara. She said her ultimate goal is to encourage people to speak the language “out of my grandmother’s generation” and re-use it for Maori.

Kaipara said: “We still haven’t solved many generational traumas and colonization issues. For Maori, this is also very, very pertinent and sharp.” “The racial relations here have not changed much for a long time.”

However, she has not forgotten the “enormity” of the occasion. In many ways, it was a complete moment for Kepara. She was inspired by Maori TV news host Tiny Molineux when she was young.

“She is my idol,” Kaipara told CNN. “Her skin color is the same as mine… She sounds like me, she looks like me. She comes from where I originally came from, my family, whakapapa (ancestors), where is the connection between ancestors and our land .”

Kaipara hopes that young Maori girls can draw inspiration from her story as a sign of the changing times.

Kepala told CNN: “For a long time, our people, our ancestors, our Tipner and we have all done a lot of work to get to where we are now.” “As a young woman, As a young Maori, what you do today will affect what will happen tomorrow. So what I ask is that they see the beauty of Maori, they accept and acknowledge this, and do their best to make positive changes. ”

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