Rugby World Cup tourists get inked with Maori designs

By Imogen Crispe

Michael Sokolich tattoos Pierre Crequis. Photo / Janna Dixon
Michael Sokolich tattoos Pierre Crequis. Photo / Janna Dixon

Maori tattoos are a permanent reminder of New Zealand for many Rugby World Cup tourists.

During a month-long trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, French tourist Pierre Crequis, 31, got a Maori ta moko design and his brother Thomas, 28, a Tahitian style design at Otautahi Tattoo on Karangahape Rd in Auckland.

The brothers had been planning their trip for three years and Pierre decided a year ago that he wanted a Maori style tattoo.

"It could be a souvenir from this trip," he said.

He and ta moko specialist Michael Sokolich designed the tattoo to incorporate the sea, because Pierre is a diver, as well as family, friendship, yin and yang. "It's a personal tattoo," Pierre said.

Pierre, who went home on Friday, enjoyed his trip to New Zealand.

"It's very fantastic, nice people, very beautiful landscape."

He hoped France and New Zealand would be in the final and was pleased France had beat England.

Otautahi Tattoo studio manager Brad Cone said the studio had been so popular with tourists since the Rugby World Cup he had taken on another tattoo artist.

"It's been madness."

He said they were tattooing at least five tourists a day, mostly with ta moko designs.

Cone said about half of the tourists were French, with others from England, Argentina, Austria, Sweden and Australia.

- Herald on Sunday

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