Ummmm, are we really getting angry today over this moko kauae?



A controversial Pākehā life coach has removed images of her facial moko from some of her branding after a backlash from Māori. 

Sally Anderson had a moko kauae (chin tattoo) done by Auckland artist Inia Taylor several years ago and says it represents her turning a corner in her life after surviving a gang rape by the Mongrel Mob as a teenager in the 1980s.

She is married to Roger Te Tai, who has a full facial moko, and says she has strong connections to Māori.

She once said in an email: “I believe I should have been born black…I bridge all races, creed, colour, and genders in a way no other practitioner can.”

Taylor said on Facebook he was disappointed with Anderson’s “flaunting and commercialisation” of her moko.

Artist Ngahina Hohaia, who has a master’s degree in Māori visual arts from Massey University and herself has a moko kauae, hit out at Anderson’s moko.

The resounding message to Māori moko artists tattooing Pākehā was “don’t do it,” Hohaia wrote on Facebook.

…let me see if I can just get this completely straight – a white woman who survived a gang rape by the Mongrel Mob & is married to a Maori man with a full facial Moko gets a moko kauae as a symbol of her surviving her gang rape and is now being crucified for cultural appropriation?

I. Just. Don’t. Even.

I despair for us as a culture, I really do.

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As someone who hasn’t been pack raped by the Mongrel Mob, I would’ve thought (wrongly it seems) that we might cut Sally Anderson some slack, you know, cause of the whole pack rape by the Mongrel Mob thing and that her choice to symbolise surviving that was something to be cherished and celebrated.

Apparently not.

I appreciate the cultural significance and if it were any other circumstance I’d be right alongside the rest of you screaming cultural appropriation, but how a pack rape survivor wishes to celebrate surviving a pack rape, who clearly has a deep connection with the culture because she’s married to a Māori with a full Moko and who did get an artist to agree to tattoo her makes this a very different event and the mind boggling lack of empathy for a woman who survived a pack rape as awful as the one she did is astounding.

Maori are 380% more likely to be convicted of a crime and 200% more likely to die from heart disease and suicide. Maori are paid 18% less and 34% leave school without a qualification. Maori die earlier and suffer more and lost 95% of their land in less than a century – we have a race problem in this country and yet jumping up and down about THIS example?

Fuck we are a petty shallow people who bandwagon whatever the latest social media outrage of the day is.



  1. Tread carefully Mr Bradbury. People get wind of this and you’ll be tried and convicted in the Court of Social Media. And no one escapes that unscathed. Worse, you’re a straight white male voicing an opinion on something that has little to do with straight white males… which is a bit like juggling firecrackers in a napalm factory. Probably won’t end well.

    Just thought I’d mention it.

  2. Really? So if a person has a crime committed against them they are allowed to appropriate the perpetrators culture! That’s a weird thing to claim. She then uses the appropriation to steal from people so what does this mean for her victims?

    • Lucy, that “cultural appropriation” thing is why I’m reluctant to t-shirts or anything with Maori art printed on them. If it’s ” cultural appropriation” to have a moko kauae , what is it called if I decide to learn Moari? If that’s not “cultural appropriation”, why not?

      I’m not trolling you, these are legitamate questions I as a pakeha seek enlightenment to.

      • “Lucy, that “cultural appropriation” thing is why I’m reluctant to WEAR t-shirts or anything with Maori art printed on them”

        Damn typos.

        • Learning the language of the peoples who were on the land first is just called being polite! If you go to France it is polite to try and speak French – if you do they forgive a lot as do most Maori! It is not cultural appropriation to learn a language it is what humans do to communicate! I dislike t-shirts with Maori symbols as most are designed and made off shore.

  3. Actually this makes me very angry cause pakeha have stolen our land and denied us our language for 50yrs and we have had to fight for everything including our identity. Now we have this woman using our Moko kauae. Now as for her stupid husband it is not his to give away it belongs to our people. Is there nothing sacrosanct with pakeha people.
    And what makes matter worse she appears to be using our culture as a marketing tool

    • Michelle, does it become “cultural appropriation” if I learn Maori? If not, why not? How does learning Maori differ from me having amoko kauae (I’m pakeha).

    • Get over yourself and for for godness sake move on from this perpetual victim mentality. Who cares who displays a moko .
      Maoridom is a unique culture of which there are many in this world, so hardly exclusive.
      Your attitude is one of blind hatred of Europeans and is true racism, grow up.We live in a global village not a museum.

    • “denied us our language ” – are you aware that there were petitions to Parliament back in the 1860/70s from many Maori people who supported the Maori Schools Act, English being taught and the language used in school. I dont understand why Maori of today dont respect their Maori elders wishes from the past. Maori of the day and the Europeans back then were equally responsible.
      Stop the blame game and look to the future.

  4. She is lucky someone doesn’t cut that of her face its an insult to our culture our people and particularly our women who have been marginalised in this country and continue to be since colonisation. And I am not happy with the attitude that you are displaying Martyn like we are suppose to be grateful to her for acknowledging our culture. The reason for her getting it is actually sick. And I will say this when some of our pakeha whanau see a buck in things they will exploit them no matter who or what they tramp on cause it is all about money.

    • As MJOLNIR asked: If I too learn Maori language (and I have learned a little) does that now mean that you are going to cut my tongue out?
      She may have meant it as a compliment. Can you get that?

      • yes despite all she had suffered she still ties and respect and even forgiveness….that takes mana

  5. Can someone please explain what “Cultural Appropriation” REALLY means?
    Maori seem to have been quite happy to “appropriate” Pakeha culture ever since first contact. All cultures borrow from one another. As an Englishman I could complain how NZers have “appropriated” English culture and memes – there is hardly a need to spell them all out. Leave the woman alone – it is fascism in another guise, chaps.

  6. Seems there are a lot of judges out there yet who really has the qualifications.
    Did you know some NTH American Indian tribes ,Their women had chin tattoos not dissimilar to the NZ maori and they sometimes chin Tattooed captured white women . would you say they were culturally insensitive to the white women they tattooed.

  7. There’s a strange irony that someone who regularly advocates identity politics like Bomber is now outraged by exactly that. I guess there is a line after all that can be crossed – i.e. when it’s total bullshit.

  8. I see it as a Pakeha woman coming to terms with what happened to her at the hands of a Maori gang, and an acceptance rather than a rejection of the ethnicity of her rapists as not necessarily being the prime factor here, and that shows her essential goodness of heart.

    She has risen above race as necessarily being a causation of her victimisation, and that, in itself demonstrates her emotional intelligence.

    Persons suggesting cutting the moko off her face are immature, vicious and lacking in grace and graciousness, and taking that to its logical conclusion it suggests that Pakeha who “Kia ora” or “Kia Kaha” are guilty of cultural appropriation also.

    Politicians advocating compulsory Te Reo in schools are therefore putting Pakeha kids at risk, so we should probably revert to the classical Latin which the NZQA wants to dump, but which is much more useful in so many ways – and much safer.

    Upper crust Englishman sported tattoos routinely as did half the world’s seamen, so how about them ? The hookers of Araby ? This is all nuts.

    • Tribal war is over. The land wars are over. It’s time to chart a new course. I do not think it’s useful for every one to learn fluent Māori. It is useful for New Zealanders to know about 200 hundred Māori words or so, just so they can get from A to B and be able to feed themselves and rest with out discomfort. Once these conditions are meet tikanga protocols and those seeking a deeper understanding of the Māori culture will have been smoothed over.

      • The Majority of Maori Are Fine People
        The Majority of Pakeha Are Fine People

        But like Pakeha, Maori have people who would rather commit crime and waste their lives than do anything constructive.

        I think we should stop declaring criminals as maori or pakeha. They are just Criminals. Just sad moronic useless nobodies.

        Label the Crims by what they do. Not by any other label

      • No, we do not have that level of enfluence. Māori and pakeha have a long history of unfriendliness. I mean if we had a free trade agreement pakeha tattooing industry would be worked out. So mainstream New Zealand tattoos will be cheaper and better. Not only can there not be a trade agreement we can not really get close to each other. Wary I think is more of a problem than criminality, wary in that if you hurt mainstream New Zealand’s core interest then there’ll be retribution so that economic stick is always there and mainstream NZ will cut off business. Let’s not pretend, they’re 700 thousand Māori with growing incomes and attractive and do you want Māori to miss the boat and do you want a growing middle class or do you want to lose something.

  9. Get over yourself and for for godness sake move on from this perpetual victim mentality. Who cares who displays a moko .
    Maoridom is a unique culture of which there are many unique cultures in this world, so hardly exclusive.
    Your attitude is one of blind hatred of Europeans and is true racism, grow up.We live in a global village not a museum.

  10. If we look at ‘Maoridom’ via Once Were Warriors, every Moko wearing woman could be a victim of rape. maybe that is what the moko stood for prior to white folk?

  11. Having read some of the stories in the msm on this issue, and some of the comments, my feeling is that the issue at hand is not only whether or not Ms Anderson is entitled to wear moko kauae.

    The issue also appears to involve the style of criticism of Ms Anderson’s decision to have the moko kauae.

    It is the stridency of the criticism which I find troubling.

    For pakeha like me, who believe that the Treaty is a living document; who welcome the regeneration of Maori te reo and culture; and support greater mana motuhake – criticism of pakeha who embrace aspects of maoritanga serves no useful purpose.

    At a time when te reo should be encouraged to be learned by all, pakeha may think twice before venturing into cultural territory where the consequences could be dire if they commit a mistake (or some believe to be a mistake).

    This is not to suggest that corporate misappropriation of maoritanga (eg, the koru on Air New Zealand) is justified. It clearly is not; no more than I can mis-use the image of Mickey Mouse or Batman for my own commercial benefit.

    But I think there should be greater leeway given to individuals where there does no appear to be financial gain made.

    As Tania Cotter from Wairoa stated;

    “We share our culture … we want the reo to be compulsory in schools, so we’re asking for Pākehā people to learn our reo, so why aren’t we allowing them to take on our taonga tuku iho of tā moko?”


    Having said all that, I accept that I am not Maori and maoritanga is not my birth culture.

    But if we want more and more pakeha to be confident in accepting maoritanga in their lives, the criticism meted out to Ms Anderson will not assist that aim.

    • I respond to those questions the same way I respond to any and all questions of this type; if it hurts you’re doing it wrong, yeah, it’s a problem. You (they) screwed up, now this is how not to screw up. When it stops hurting have at it.

      For example, copying the dress, habits, designs, etc. of any given culture isn’t anything to concerning. Both because it’s not actually harming anyone, and because the idea of stopping people from adapting to unique and intelligent ideas you see in other cultures would be hilariously unethical, inhibit the flow of ideas and values which made humanity such a strong species in this current era, and it’s kinda not good to go against a force of nature.

      On the other hand- mocking the culture of others in a non-constructive manner is a bad thing. Say, take some sort of tribal dance from some native group, if you start copying that while acting like a you’re a monkey and laughing about it with your friends, that’s not really hurting anyone per se, but the All Blacks would certainly put the hurt on your national rugby team even if it means losing a few points or yellow cards. No one should stop you from doing it, but expecting people to like you for it or not share their opinions on is insane.

      Finally, something that actually harms people, say, finding a traditional soup from from an indigenous culture, deciding you like it, and then bringing in a troop of lawyers to ring fence every single bit of ingredients you can use to make that soup and sell it, that would probably be counted as distinctly DO NOT DO IT type of stuff. Mostly because, yes, it actually directly hurts and can even kill the people you took the idea from.

      So, there are three tiers. Respectful, non-respectful, and harmful. The first two are fine, though the second will get you dirty looks, the last will get you dirty looks and probably a few breach of The Treaty claims.

  12. Maybe looking to the perspectives of Māori women on this issue would be wise, and gaining some understanding of the meaning of the moko worn by Māori women. It took me less than a week of engaging with this debate to get an admittedly minimal understanding of this meaning … but I still understanding that it’s not representative of ‘healing’. If Anderson is so entrenched in Māori culture, you’d think she’d know this … and she’s also be aware of the political implication of utilising a cultural form that has considerable significance in terms of whakapapa to her own (unrelated) ends.
    This isn’t an area which white-mansplaining is very useful. (Actually, I can’t think of an area in which that IS useful, but this definitely isn’t one.)

    • I suggest that the term “white-mansplaining ” isn’t very helpful either, Johanna. That term serves no useful purpose except to exclude participation in the discussion.

      • I think that was sort of my point … not everyone’s ‘opinion’ carries equal weight in this debate. Ignoring the voices of Māori women is insulting, especially when you present yourself as some sort of liberal. If you only respect the perspective of Māori when their words agree with your opinion, but ignore them when your opinion differs AND you’re talking about something that is inherent Māori, you’re not actually respecting Māori perspectives at all – you’re just using them as some sort of liberal validation in the instances when your ‘opinion’ is the same as their explanation of how things actually work.

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