Oriini Kaipara has always dreamed of being a news anchor on mainstream TV.

Today that became reality as the TVNZ newsreader presented the midday news on TVOne - and it's believed she's the first person with a moko kauae to do so.

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Kaipara told the Herald that the experience had been "pretty surreal".

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"The feedback has been amazing, it's been really humbling. I did my best and that's all I wanted."

She hoped it would "break some barriers".

"It's not just about me, it's about taking opportunities and opening up opportunities for moko wearers, for Māori - I don't want this to be a one-hit wonder."

Kaipara says the goal is to continue presenting the mainstream news bulletin on TVNZ. "I do want to carry on if possible."

Even the negative feedback was only encouraging her to keep going, she said.

Kaipara started to seriously consider taking on the news bulletin this year, inspired by Miriama Kamo. Kamo currently presents TVNZ's Sunday and Māori current affairs programme Marae and is of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Mutunga heritage.

TVNZ's Oriini Kaipara, who wears a moko kauae, fulfilled her lifelong dream of presenting a mainstream news bulletin today. Photo /
TVNZ's Oriini Kaipara, who wears a moko kauae, fulfilled her lifelong dream of presenting a mainstream news bulletin today. Photo /

"Back in August, thanks to a beautiful woman whom I've long admired and idolise - Miriama Kamo, I began to take seriously a lifelong goal of being a news anchor on mainstream TV," she wrote on her Facebook page.

"Today...it's going to happen and I'm trying not to cry."

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Kaipara is of Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa descent. Last year a DNA test identified her as full-blooded Māori, making headlines around the world.

Kaipara also presents Te Karere and previously worked for both Māori Television and Mai FM.