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Air NZ embraces self-expression through Tā Moko and tattoos

10 June 2019

Air New Zealand embraces self-expression through Tā Moko and tattoos

Air New Zealand has today announced changes that will see all employees, including uniformed staff, able to proudly display their non-offensive tattoos at work.

From 1 September all new and existing Air New Zealand employees will be able to have Tā Moko and non-offensive tattoos visible when wearing their uniform or normal business attire.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace that truly reflects the makeup of Aotearoa.

“I’m extremely proud to be making this announcement. It reinforces our position at the forefront of the airline industry in embracing diversity and enabling employees to express individuality or cultural heritage.”

The changes follow five months of extensive research with Air New Zealand customers and employees.

“We felt it was important that this change apply equally to all Air New Zealanders. 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.

“In conversations we’ve had with customers and our own people domestically and overseas in the past five months, it’s clear that there is growing acceptance of tattoos in New Zealand, particularly as a means of cultural and individual expression. Research indicates one in five adult New Zealanders has at least one tattoo, with more than 35 percent of under 30s tattooed.”

Mr Luxon says it’s important that the airline keeps up with changes in social norms but it’s still a case of securing the best person for the job.

“As New Zealand’s most attractive employer we get a very large number of applications for every available role and the reality is that most applicants are not successful. However, I can guarantee that no one will be turned down because of their tattoo as long as it’s not offensive or inappropriate.

“There is an expectation that Air New Zealand will represent our country and our people authentically to the world and having a workforce who can bring their true selves to work is an important part of that.”

Video of Christopher Luxon commenting on the announcement can be found here.

Ends

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