A woman who was disqualified from a job with Air New Zealand because of her traditional Maori tattoo has received high-level backing from MPs who feel the company's policies are outdated and hypocritical.
Prime Minister John Key expressed surprise at the airline's refusal to hire Maori woman Claire Nathan because the ta moko on her forearm breached the company's policy of not allowing visible tattoos.
Mr Key, who is also Minister for Tourism, disagreed with the airline's argument that it could put off tourists.
Air New Zealand said tattoos were seen as "frightening or intimidating" in many cultures.
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