ADC Festival 2023 13.-16. Juni
©Outspoken Limited
16. Mai 2022
ADC Festival

„To see and hear my language on national TV captivated me in more ways than one.“

Oriini Kaipara ist die erste Nachrichtensprecherin der Welt mit traditionellem Gesichtstattoo, dem sogenannten Moko Kauae – und noch viel mehr. Die neuseeländische Journalistin legte eine einzigartige Karriere hin, erhielt mehrere Auszeichnungen und wurde dank ihrer emphatischen, aber furchtlosen Art zur Kämpferin für die Belange der Māori mit internationaler Strahlkraft. Auf dem ADC Festival Kongress am Donnerstag wird sie uns davon berichten!

Dear Oriini, regarding our ADC festival motto “Ideas create reality”: Which ideas changed your reality?

I think my reality has always shaped my ideas. I was born during the Māori language renaissance and therefore raised in total immersion in Māori education. I live, breathe, see, feel, hear and dream all things Māori.

I know I’m lucky to be able to connect to my culture through a deep understanding of my native language and I believe I’ve succeeded so far in life because I am fluently bilingual and have an innate ability to traverse both the Māori world and Western world with confidence.

Your career has been remarkable. Was there a moment that you remember to be the most influential?

When I was a child in the 1980s there was just one Māori language programme that existed – Te Karere news. Back then the show was just 5 minutes, but that was enough to inspire and influence the way I felt about my culture and especially my language.

To see and hear it on national TV captivated me in more ways than one, it instilled in me a belief that my culture and language was not only accepted but important and valued in New Zealand, and that one day I would be able to do just the same and land a job that allowed me to speak Māori and represent my culture on a national platform.

„To be better I must do better and in order to do better I must do my best to know better.“

You have always incorporated your fight for visibility of Māori culture into your personal strive for success. What is your message to the world?

„Whāia ngā mahi o Rarohenga“ – Strive to be better. This proverb is taken from an old story known to those who work in the art of Tā Moko and is a saying I keep close as a reminder of my commitment in receiving my moko kauae – the traditional chin marking reserved for Māori women. To be better I must do better and in order to do better I must do my best to know better. I think we can all take something from this and apply it in our everyday lives, to make tomorrow a safer and better place for future generations.

The media industry is changing rapidly. How can television stay relevant in the future?

Everything is moving towards digital platforms. We have to evolve and adapt – and we know this. How? Well, that’s the question every network in Aotearoa is contemplating, and I’m not sure what the answer is. I do believe though there is a need to support and invest more in local content that reflects true, accurate and authentic stories of our respective countries, especially indigenous stories.

New Zealand has often been called an example of inclusiveness and multiculturalism. What can other societies learn from you?

This statement doesn’t sit well with me. I say this out of respect to those I may offend, but many a Māori would argue that we are not inclusive nor do we represent a truly multicultural society. It’s an ideal we’ve always aspired towards but in true reality there still exists inequality. Māori, as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, as Tangata Whenua represented in the Treaty of Waitangi – our nation’s founding document – we are not treated fairly or just according to the principles and promises signed by our ancestors. To this day we are overrepresented in areas like incarceration, mortality, suicide, unemployment, et al as a result of colonisation. Māori have to fight or push twice as hard as the rest of society to succeed. The upside is that we are.


Oriini Kaipara ist Speakerin auf dem ADC Festival Kongress 2022 am 19. Mai im resonanzraum in Hamburg.