National | Black Ferns

Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu first Black Fern to wear moko kauae

Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu: “This is the Māori version of a flower that makes you more beautiful. "

For the first time in their 33-year history, the Black Ferns will have a player who has received a moko kauae.

Halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu received her moko kauae only last week and she is looking to create a movement within the team to entice other players to follow in her footsteps.

The Blues halfback has played 15 tests for the Black Ferns and was a victorious World Cup-winning team member.

This graduate of Te Aho Matua has again made the Black Ferns for this year’s fixtures, including tests against Australia plus the inaugural WVX1 series involving New Zealand, France, Wales and the big rival, England.

Last week, she returned to her home in Northland to receive her moko kauae. She says it was an emotional moment for her.

“I was actually thinking about my father sitting on the other side and giggling at me.”

‘You could see her mana’

Teammate Katelyn Vaha’akolo says Marino-Tauhino is a role model for those following in her footsteps.

“She is beautiful to me. You can see her mana right here. Before she embarked on this journey for her moko kauae, you could see her mana in Te Ao Māori.”

“It makes me want to get one because of hers.”

And although she is the first one to receive a moko kauae while still playing for the team, the Māori awareness of the Black Ferns has skyrocketed.

“Kua eke wērā āhuatanga i roto i te kapa, nā te hunga e noho nei, nā ngā hunga pērā i a Ruahei, tēnei e noho mai nei a Katelyn. Ko te hunga e whakatōkia ana i ngā āhuatanga o te ao Māori.”

Those aspects have really grown and they’re being driven from within the squad, by people like Ruahei and this one sitting here, Katelyn. They are embedding aspects of Te Ao Māori.