Newsreader Oriini Kaipara slams artist selling unauthorised painting of her for huge price tag

Newsreader Oriini Kaipara slams artist selling unauthorised painting of her for huge price tag

Not the fact he called it 'Kia Ora Wahine' and he's not even from NZ.

Ex-Newshub presenter Oriini Kaipara is furious with a non-Māori artist who is selling a painting of her without her consent.

The artist, Warren Thomas, listed his painting of Oriini on an online marketplace under the title 'Kia ora Wahine' with a price tag of a whopping $1200.. He said he found inspiration in "moko tattoos" and considered the piece as a "tribute".

But Oriini is calling out the straight-up disregard of her consent and “making money off” her whakapapa.

"Here we go again," she wrote to Instagram.

"...Dude, you're charging $1200 for a picture you painted of me. You're from Africa. You've been in Aotearoa five minutes and have already assumed it's okay to take a complete stranger's face and make money off it,” she added.

"The answer is NO.”

“Donate those proceeds to the local kōhanga reo in your area. You can Google it,” Oriini continued. “Then, I suggest you sit with the whānau of that kōhanga reo to gain an understanding of te ao Māori and why I'm not okay about you profiting off my whakapapa."

She even urged the artist to Google the story she did with the artist of the last portrait, adding "It's a tool to educate anyone considering doing what you've done."

This isn’t the first time Oriini has had to educate others on showing respect to her whakapapa.

Back in August 2022, Oriini responded to a Newshub viewer complaining that her moko was “offensive and aggressive”. 

Someone named David had sent a blatantly ignorant email that read: “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.”

The fact the man didn’t spell moko correctly - is within itself an issue of cultural ignorance.

“She also bursts into the Maori [sic] language which we do not understand. Stop it now,” he continued.

Oriini shared the email to her Instagram story at the time, saying that she “had enough” and that she wouldn’t normally respond but she “broke [her] own code and hit the send button.”

In her reply, she took the time to correct David about the spelling and pronunciation of "moko," and shared some insights into its historical significance.

Good on Oriini for sticking up for herself and her whakapapa in all of these interactions, but it's obvious there's a whole lot more educating to be done on respecting cultural boundaries.