To em­ploy the inked or non-inked

Central Otago Mirror - - OPINION - Amy Scott

Tat­toos – Are they of­fen­sive? Artis­tic? A state­ment? Threat­en­ing? Of course it de­pends on what they are and where they are dis­played. Air NZ was crit­i­cised for dis­miss­ing a po­ten­tial host­ess be­cause she had a Maori mo­tif on her fore­arm. In­ter­est­ing sit­u­a­tion given that their brand­ing in­cludes the koru and the use of tat­tooed celebri­ties to ad­ver­tise Air NZ. I amnot against tat­toos – in fact I’m not both­ered. It is none of my busi­ness what peo­ple do with their bod­ies, un­less that in­volves them cross­ing an­other per­son’s bound­aries. Think bla­tant racist hate mes­sages etc. I feel sorry for those who ad­ver­tise their lack of smarts with tat­toos like ‘‘no regerts’’ or ‘‘life in the fats lane’’. They def­i­nitely should not be hired! This is not a tat­too is­sue per se – this is a lack of in­tel­li­gence. In­creas­ingly com­mu­nity mem­bers are get­ting inked. I’d per­son­ally strug­gle to de­cide what I wanted to be branded with or be brave enough to do it. Last month I no­ticed some Welling­ton IT geeks (who I had pre­vi­ously viewed as con­ser­va­tive) with tat­toos on their hands, arms and one gor­geous lady even had an in­scrip­tion on the back of her neck. This looked el­e­gant. X Fac­tor judge Stan Walker has a tat­too on his neck ‘‘Ataahua’’, which is Maori for ‘‘beau­ti­ful’’. And many of our All Blacks are also proudly inked. Some­times I think we are quick to judge. If the tat­toos aren’t scary or in­tim­i­dat­ing why shouldn’t our hostesses have them? Surely peo­ple trav­el­ling to New Zealand are vis­it­ing for a taste of New Zealand? If it’s good enough for Air NZ planes to be ‘‘tat­tooed’’ then why isn’t it good enough for their staff? Do you agree with Air NZ? ◗ Amy Scott is a for­mer lawyer turned pro­fes­sional speaker who is pas­sion­ate about ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ties.

Maori sym­bol: The Air New Zealand Air­bus A320 proudly dis­plays a koru but should Maori mo­tifs be dis­played on staff?

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