Published on Thursday, June 13, 2019

Air New Zealand will allow crew to have visible tattoos

Air New Zealand has reversed its long term ban on visible tattoos, amid criticism it was discriminatory against potential indigenous Maori employees.

Like most other airlines Air NZ hadn't permitted customer-facing staff from sporting visible tattoos, which included the ta moko traditional Maori tattoo designs.

Now that is changing from September 1.

The airline will allow ta moko and other general tattoos as long as they are not deemed offensive.

The airline wants to prove it is 'embracing diversity and enabling employees to express individuality or cultural heritage.'

"We want to liberate all our staff, including uniform wearers such as cabin crew, pilots, and airport customer service teams, who will, for the first time, be able to have non-offensive tattoos visible when wearing their uniforms,'' said Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon.

Critics had called out Air New Zealand's use of Maori traditions to promote its business, using traditional emblems but not allowing workers to do the same.

The airline will allow all other tattoos as long as they do not cause controversy.

"Where the situation is not clear, we will have a Tattoo Review Panel to assist employees and managers to determine whether a tattoo is aligned with our policy," the airline said.


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