Mar 4, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Air New Zealand repeats its anti-tattoo rule discriminating against Maori

1 min read

New Zealand airline Air New Zealand today announced the adoption of a rule that prohibited visible tattoos to its employees, a labor measure criticized for discriminating against the Maori population (Source: Tony Joseph, The Daily Guardian).

Traditional residents of indigenous Māori heritage or some New Zealanders embellish their faces and bodies with tattoos that in many cases rank, social status and prestige among the Aborigines.

But the airline’s dress code did not allow them to apply for certain jobs, including flight attendants.

As of 1 September, Air New Zealand employees, among whose operators are Māori and Pacific Islands, can wear their traditional tattoos, known as ta moko, along with their uniforms “with pride”.

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said, “This (change) is exciting and great … and I think it reflects how public opinion and society have changed.” .

The airline, which had already used Māori symbolism as a logo and as the badge in its fleet of aircraft, surveyed employees and customers for five months before pushing for a change in its labor policy.

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