Air New Zealand under fire over tattoo ban

by Toby Manhire / 27 May, 2013
Policy sits uneasily alongside koru branding and embrace of All Blacks – then there's that “cranial billboard” tattoo campaign.
Maori TV’s Native Affairs is promising a story this evening on Air New Zealand and their apparent prohibition on visible tattoos among cabin crew.

The story presumably came about after Mihingarangi Forbes was tagged in this Facebook post 11 days ago:

An awesome mete of mine had an interview with Air New Zealand today for an air steward intake - and they said "no visible tattoos"... All good she thought - she has stunning moko - not tattoos. But no!!!! Ummmm all good Air New Zealand to have a humungous koru pattern on the outside of your planes - but not on the good people on the inside???!!!! Air New Zealand - I'm disappointed and I'm gonna write a letter, and a tweet, and a Facebook post and, and, and...


Trailing this evening’s item, Forbes tweeted this afternoon:

Air New Zealand says tattoos are frightening and intimidating. Better get those All Blacks off your ads then #nativeaffairs tonight


She later clarified that Air NZ's position is that " some international travellers think tattoos are intimidating and frightening".

As well as the Koru thing, and the All Black thing (see Sonny Bill Williams pic, above), how about that promotional campaign, that put temporary tattoos on people’s shaved heads, from 2008?

It trumpeted:

Hundreds watched while more than 200 auditioned to be one of Air New Zealand's "cranial billboards" today at Greenway Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. The 25 men and five women chosen had their heads shaved and temporarily tattooed to become walking advertisements for the airline.


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