Note: This story was first published on Tuesday May 22
The husband of Pakeha life coach Sally Anderson has defended his wife, after she removed images of her moko from business branding due to a backlash over the issue, saying to critics that "she's more Maori than you'll ever be".
Ms Anderson is married to Roger Te Tai, a man with a full facial moko, and had her own moko done by Auckland artist Inia Taylor four years ago.
Speaking to TVNZ1's Te Karere yesterday, Mr Te Tai addressed the issue of his Pakeha wife's moko, saying it took a while for him to consider her getting the traditional Maori tattoo.
"It took me two and a half years to actually accept for her to have it done," he said.
He also had a message for those criticising her after the recent backlash.
"When you judge a person and you haven't met them what does that say about you? They should all be working in the courtroom those people who love judging people.
"She's more Maori than you'll ever be because her heart is pure always has been, her soul is a pure soul."
However, opinion is divided on whether pakeha should be allowed to receive traditional Maori facial moko.
TVNZ1's Te Karere asked the question: "Should non-Maori receive moko kauae/mataora?" on their Facebook page and had a range of responses both for and against.
"NO moko is our wairua, mana it is solely ours, kirituhi is for non-Maori," one user posted.
"This is as bad as, or even worse than the Maori designs on shower curtains manufactured overseas. It's time we got a patent on our ta moko etc etc. This is ridiculous! Pakeha have no attachment to the wairua that's paramount in this mahi. Get a grip!" another against the idea wrote.
"No it something that's earned its not like a piece of costume jewellery," read another.
Although, not all posts were against the idea of Pakeha receiving a moko.
"Do we know the reason why she got it? before we go judging we should understand the situation!" a user wrote in defence of Ms Anderson.
"Well if she deserves it for Maori cultural significance, then what’s the problem. We need to know the full story first before just putting the hold up on it," said another.
One Facebook user simply posted a photo of English-born Barnet Burns who was given a full facial moko in the 1800s.
For her part Ms Anderson says the moko represents her turning a corner in her life after surviving a gang rape by the Mongrel Mob as a teenager in the 1980s.