Maori journalist making history in New Zealand

Maori journalist making history in New Zealand

(CNN) – A Maori journalist made history in New Zealand by becoming the first person with traditional facial markings to host a prime-time news program on national television.


Oreni Kaibara made headlines around the world after presenting her first 6pm newscast for Newshub on Three TV, with many hailing the event as a victory for Maori representation.

“I was really cheerful. I was over the moon,” Kaibara told CNN about the moment she found out she’d be covering primetime. “It’s such an honor. I don’t know how to deal with feelings.”

Kaibara’s role on Christmas Day was the first of six consecutive days that the regular hosts of a news show covered the peak, though her tenure will run into early January and she may be called up again in the future.

(Credit: oriinz via Instagram)

After starting her career in 2005, Kaibara said hosting the prime-time news site was the “peak” of her journalistic dreams, although it was a “bittersweet moment” because her mother, who recently passed away, was unable to share the moment with her. ..

Despite all the positive comments, there were also negative reactions to Kaibara’s show, especially since it often uses Maori phrases such as “E haere ake nei” (yet to come), “Ū tonu mai” (stay tuned) and “Taihoa e haere” (don’t go yet).

The Maori language is very important to Kaibara. He said his ultimate goal is to encourage people to speak and claim the language that “was left out of my grandmother’s generation” Maori.

“We have not yet dealt with a lot of the trauma of intergenerational colonialism and for the Maori people, this is very important and touching as well,” Kaibara said. “Not much has changed in terms of race relations here in a long time.”

However, the occasion’s “enormity” did not go unnoticed, and was, in many ways, a closing moment for Kaibara, who was inspired by Maori TV news anchor Tini Molino, who she watched as a girl.

“She was my idol,” Kaibara told CNN. “He had the same color as my skin… He looked like me, he looked like me. He comes from where I originally came from, my family, wakapapa (ancestors), where the ancestral ties to our land are.”

Kaybara She hopes her story will take inspiration from young Mäori women as a sign that times are changing.

“For a long time, our people, our ancestors, the Tipuna and we are now working hard to get where we are,” Kaibara told CNN. “As a young woman, as a young Maori, what you do today affects and influences what will happen tomorrow. So all I ask is that you see, accept and acknowledge the beauty of being a Maori and do what you can for positive change.”

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