Backlash after overseas media highlights Nanaia Mahuta's moko kauae

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Nov 2020, 5:53PM
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Backlash after overseas media highlights Nanaia Mahuta's moko kauae

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Nov 2020, 5:53PM

The Māori Council is hitting out after UK media spotlighted Nanaia Mahuta's moko kauae in coverage of her Cabinet appointment.

Mahuta was yesterday appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, the first woman to hold the portfolio.

Back in 2016, Mahuta enjoyed a different first after becoming the first woman to wear a moko kauae - a Maori chin tattoo - in Parliament.

The Times, Daily Mail and Independent in the UK all drew attention to it, with The Times headlining their story as "Ardern appoints tattooed Maori woman as foreign minister."

The Māori Council's Matthew Tukaki told Heather du Plessis-Allan the comments were not on.

"I think moko kauae that a wahine Māori goes on a journey with. She's been on that journey, she's comfortable in her skin, she feels comfortable having the moko on her chin."

He says that the headlines generated more negativity in their comments and on social media, as well as local bloggers.

However, Tukaki says that the headline isn't the major problem - it's the underbelly of people in New Zealand looking for an opportunity to pour scorn over Māori.

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