Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta has given her first on camera interview after being tattooed with the traditional chin moko.
Speaking from her Waikato home, she told Te Kāea news that it was a momentous occasion on many levels.
“It was a milestone event, this is the 10th year that Tuheitia has held his position as leader of the Kingitanga Movement. It’s 10 years since Te Ataairangi Kaahu’s passing, 15 years since my Dad’s passed and 20 years in Parliament,” says Mahuta.
Mahuta will head back to parliament tomorrow as the first female MP to wear the moko kauae tattoo while in office.
She was tattooed with 13 other women who attended the Moko papa wānanga at Waahi Pā in Huntly last weekend.
She said she was thinking of her parents and tipuna. The Hauraki-Waikato MP said it was time for New Zealand to accept that Māori traditions were strong and everlasting.
“I’m certain just as parliament sees the growing contribution that Māori are making in all places in all sorts of ways that it is a growing recognition that we are not going anywhere. We expect to see the way that we think, the way that we celebrate and cherish our culture, our heritage and language and all things that are important is a key defining part in the way New Zealand continues to grow and that’s got to be positive.”