A Newshub presenter has shared her response to a viewer complaining that her moko “is offensive and aggressive”.
Over the last week or so, people have been complaining about the use of Te Reo.
Whittaker’s renaming a chocolate bar in the language riled people up, and one person even said they were nauseated at a news presenter using Te Reo during a weather report.
News presenter Oriini Kaipara shared another example of a complaint over Māori culture and language, as well as her response.
Kaipara shared an email that someone named ‘David’ had sent to Newshub. The complaint is ignorant - evident in the fact that he can’t spell ‘moko’ -, privileged, and just plain racist, here's what it said:
“We continue to object strongly to you using a Maori [sic] news presenter with a moku [sic] which is offensive and aggressive looking. A bad look.”
“She also bursts into the Maori [sic] language which we do not understand. Stop it now.”
Kaipara shared the email to her Instagram story, saying that she has “had enough” and that she doesn’t normally respond but she “broke [her] own code and hit the Send button.”
In her response, she kindly lets David know the correct spelling and pronunciation of ‘moko’, gives him a well-needed history lesson on the history of the moko, and calls him out for his outdated “cultural ignorance”.
“Thank you for all your complaints against me and my ‘moku’,” she starts.
“I do find them very difficult to take seriously given there is no breach of broadcast standards. 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 and 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 /I deserve to be treated with such disregard."
She finished her response by basically telling David to get lost.
“Please refrain from complaining further, and restrain your cultural ignorance and bias for another lifetime, preferably in the 1800s.”
Good on Oriini for sticking up for herself and sharing that racism is still a thing in Aotearoa. If you can’t handle seeing a moko or hearing Te Reo, harden up and get over yourself.