National | Māori

Newshub presenter Oriini Kaipara shares post-concussion injury, ahead of new role with NZ Olympics

Newshub presenter Oriini Kaipara has explained her absence from work, citing a concussion after falling and hitting her head on concrete.

Kaipara said on Instagram that she will not be returning to work for a while following the incident, which left her with two severe cuts on her skull.

“I went to mahi the next day thinking I’d be OK to read the news, despite my head still bleeding, swollen, and not being able to feel it. I didn’t know the symptoms until I sat in the makeup chair,” she wrote.

She said she was rushed to A&E where she waited more than three hours. Kaipara was told she had a concussion, had to get her head medically glued, and was sent on her way with some Panadol. She said she returned to work just two days later.

“I worked for a month before the symptoms got bad; waves of headaches a day, vertigo, light sensitivity (caused headaches and nausea), memory loss, but the worst was/is fatigue,” she said.

Kaipara visited her GP, who was shocked to hear that she had been working and hadn’t been referred to a concussion clinic.

“He explained the seriousness of the injury and that the only way to heal was to stop and get help,” Kaipara wrote.

She told her followers that they won’t see her back “for some time” as she’s still on the road to recovery.

“I’m not out of the woods, the symptoms are still there but fortunately not as bad as before,” she said.

She said she is feeling “lighter and clearer”, with help from her aunt who is a rongoā māori healer, ACC approved and specialises in concussions. In her Instagram post, she shares the experience where she explains rau kawakawa and makomako are applied to her entire head to draw out unwanted toxins.

The post comes three weeks after Newshub publicly announced Kaipara was taking up a new role with the NZ Olympic Committee as Pouwhiringa Māori culture lead.

Kaipara, who hails from Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Rangitihi, will be charged with overseeing Māori cultural competency and initiatives across the organisation, as it prepares for next year’s Paris Olympics.

In 2019, Kaipara gained international attention by becoming the first woman in the world with a moko kauae, to anchor a mainstream television program with TVNZ.

In 2021, she made the move from TVNZ, where she held permanent hosting responsibilities for Newshub at 4.30pm, which the network discontinued last year, initially blaming Covid-related employee illnesses, to no longer being on the schedule.