Ripeka Murray

Updated: Apr 3

I te taha o tōku pāpā

Ko Mauao te Maunga

Ko Tauranga te moana

Ko Mataatua te waka

Ko Ngāi Te Rangi te Iwi

Ko Ngāti Tauaiti me Ngāi Tuwhiwhia ngā hapu

Ko Opureora me Kutaroa ngā marae


I te taha o tōku Māmā

Ko Tararua te maunga

Ko Manawatu te awa

Ko Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga te iwi

Ko Tainui te waka Ko Takihiku te hapu

Ko Kereru te Marae


Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I would have a moko kauae of my own.

I would sit and stare at the pictures of my tupuna wahine, they were bold, beautiful, and brave, I wanted to be just like them when I got older.

Lived most of my life on orchards and dairy farms while growing up on Matakana Island, I would draw on my own Moko Kauae, and karanga to the kiwi fruit and cows as if I was on the marae.

I knew then that someday I would have my own moko kauae, hei hoa mātenga mōku.

Fortunate enough to witness my Māmā receive her moko kauae, paving the way for my whānau to break stereotypes around having to earn it and changing the way we view this beautiful taonga in today’s time.


A few years later my god mother received hers.

Two very pivotal and influential women in my life, I admired their strength, and courage to wear such a beautiful taonga with pride knowing who they truly are.

As I reflected on the many why’s and am I ready I had to reflect on my own thoughts and process why I had to question if I was ready / worthy enough just yet.

The love that I have for my culture, te reo Māori, te ao Māori, tikanga Māori and being Māori contributed to making my decision easier.


I want my tamariki to grow up in a world where they can be proud to wear Moko Kauae or Mataora when they are ready, and no one has the right to question if they are worthy enough.

I sat with Anikaaroa and had a wānanga around Moko Kauae and mataora and this cemented my whakaaro around getting mine.

I called my whānau the day before and spoke to my parents who have always been supportive of me, my mum’s reply was you were ready a long time ago.

My brothers and their whānau travelled back at short notice to be here on Matakana to help support their sister.

With photo’s of my kuia in my hands and the voices of my whānau singing as each line was etched into my skin, there was no better feeling.

The marae was filled with aroha, whanau, emotion, and pride, it felt good, it felt real, I was home and I was ready, I always have been.

Ko Ripeka Murray ahau, he mokopuna, he māmā, he wahine Māori e mau ana i taku Moko Kauae.



Ripeka Murray | Kaitā: Anikaaroa Harawira

© 2019, Twisted Treaty Portraits

|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|