New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the vote, and now the progressive island nation is making history again by appointing a woman with a facial tattoo as its first female foreign minister.
Nanaia Mahuta, a close relative of the Maori royal family, has been named New Zealand’s next foreign minister amid a government reshuffle following parliamentary elections last month.
Mahuta, 50, was chosen to replace Winston Peters, who lost his seat in parliament after the October 17 election.
Mahuta while speaking to newsmen said she will continue to pursue a ‘progressive trade agenda’ for New Zealand as Jacinda Ardern’s Labour government marks its second term in office after a landslide victory last month.
Also Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praised Mahuta, the first woman to head the nation’s foreign affairs ministry, as “someone who builds fantastic relationships very, very quickly.”
The PM added that Mahuta’s experience with the government “demonstrates those diplomacy skills that we need to represent New Zealand on the world stage.”
Mahuta’s moko tattoo incorporates the traditional carving patterns of her tribe and marks the anniversary of her father’s death.‘
Moko is a statement of identity, like a passport,’ the politician told the Guardian.
‘I am at a time in my life where I am ready to make a clear statement that this is who I am, and this is my position in New Zealand.’