Got ink? Kiwi stars and their tattoos

Spy News,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 10:09PM
Millie Elder Holmes, Jordan Mauger and Anika Moa. Photos / Instagram
Millie Elder Holmes, Jordan Mauger and Anika Moa. Photos / Instagram

Whether they have full sleeve tattoos or subtly hidden away designs, some of the world's most recognisable celebrities are big fans of getting inked.

And the same can be said of many New Zealand stars.

We check out some of the tattoos (that we know of) adorning our local celebs.

Anika Moa

Singer and TV presenter Anika Moa has a whole lotta tattoos. So many, she's previously joked about "washing off" the tattoos prior to her kids music shows, "so I don't give the wrong impression that I've been to jail and other things".

Moa told The Listener last year the tattoos on her arms are her whakapapa. She also has a tattoo of her wife's face on a bird, as well as two topless women - one on top of a lion and one on top of a tiger - tattooed on her chest. (And she really couldn't care less if you think that's a bit rude.)



Pua Magasiva

Shortland Street star and Flava host Pua Magasiva's tattoos are inspired by his Samoan heritage.

Magasiva got his first tattoo in a spur of the moment decision while working in Rarotonga at the age of 20.

He told the Herald he thought the first one "would be cool to get around my belly button". 

"Because it's around the belly button, the meaning was like, that's your birthplace - the people of the sun,” he said.

However, the tattoo on his arm is particularly special to Magasiva. He and his brothers all decided to get a family tattoo that they've since bought the design rights to – meaning their tattooist can't ever use it again.


A post shared by Pua Magasiva (@pua_magasiva) on Oct 25, 2016 at 5:35pm PDT


KJ Apa

Magasiva's former Shortland Street colleague and current star of hit US TV show Riverdale, KJ Apa, has also acknowledged his Samoan roots through a tattoo.

At the age of 17, Apa and his family got tattoos to commemorate his father becoming a chief. His tattoo has designs unique to the family’s village, Moata'a.

"I'd love to get my whole body tatted up," he said in an interview with the Herald three years ago. "I love Polynesian and Samoan designs. 

"The original plan was that this would be the start of a sleeve tattoo, but I think I need to get big arms first," he joked.


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Apr 15, 2017 at 5:10pm PDT


Nicola Robinson Evans and Sally Ridge

Old friends Sally Ridge and Nicola Robinson Evans reportedly have matching toe tattoos – and that was enough to convince several Australian media organisations a couple of years ago that the women may have been married to each other

After Ridge posted a photo to Instagram of her feet propped up on then-partner Warren Fenning, Robinson Evans commented that she knew whose feet they were "because I can see your/our matching wedding tattoo".

Cue the 'Nicola Robinson is already married!' headlines across the ditch.

Hopefully somebody pointed out to those Australian outlets that yes, same-sex marriage is legal in New Zealand, but matching tattoos does not a lawful union make.


A post shared by Sally Ridge (@sallyridge) on Feb 6, 2015 at 7:14pm PST


Paul Henry

In case you missed the news last year, semi-retired broadcaster Paul Henry went and got himself a tattoo last year. 

Henry told the Women's Weekly the tattoo of a creeping grapevine across his lower-back symbolised his famous fondness for wine. 

"I got to the point where I thought it would be highly unreasonable to die without having a tattoo," he said, adding that the placement of the tattoo just above his derriere accentuated one of his "finer points".

"It's a good butt."

We don't have any photos of said tattoo, so you'll just have to imagine what it looks like.

Or not.


A post shared by BellaHenry (@belllhenry) on Aug 3, 2017 at 7:15pm PDT


Millie Elder Holmes

High profile blogger Millie Elder Holmes has amassed so many tattoos, she claims they now cover three-quarters of her body, with just her arms and chest free of ink.

She famously has tattoos on her thighs of two of the most important men in her life, her late father Sir Paul Holmes and long-time love Connor Morris, who was murdered in 2014.  Elder Holmes also caused a stir when her full back tattoo, featuring two large, classic Greek portraits, was revealed in 2015

In a Q&A blog on her website this year, Elder Holmes said her tattoos were "extremely sentimental" and reminded her only of good memories. 

"My tattoos make me very happy," she wrote. "I am a walking diary of my life that only I can read and understand which is a very nice feeling."



The Reeves

Both broadcaster Jay Reeve and his wife, celebrity blogger Anna, are big fans of tattoos, with several designs adorning their bodies.

The couple also chose tattoos to mark their wedding in 2012, with Jay getting 'Anna' tattooed on his wedding finger soon after proposing.

Anna returned the favour by getting a tattoo done for Jay as a wedding gift. She told readers in a blog that she had the tattoo on her ribcage, an infinity rope tied around a jay bird feather, done two days before their wedding and managed to hide it from her groom until they were wed. 

"I took a photo of [the tattoo], framed it and sent it to [Jay] before he left for the church. He couldn't make out where it was on my body, so spent the whole [wedding] day wondering," she wrote.

The wedding tattoo joins Anna's other tattoos: a rose with two rose buds on her wrist (to symbolise her twin sons), a letter 'A', her family crest, a cross and a ruby (her birthstone).



Jordan Mauger

Before his turn as New Zealand’'s Bachelor turned to complete custard, Jordan Mauger chose to get a permanent reminder of his time spent filming the reality TV show in Hawaii last year, by getting a traditional ala niho tattoo on his arm

Also tattooed on Mauger's arm is a long arrow which he reportedly had done whilst in New York.

It was also in New York that Mauger made a snap decision to get barely visible white anchor tattoos on his fingers – which viewers were able to see on The Bachelor NZ each week as he reached for his red roses.



Lily McManus

And last, but certainly not least, we have former Bachelorette Lily McManus.

The runner-up from season three of The Bachelor NZ has already accumulated a sizeable number of, er, unique tattoos.

We particularly like the '"No More Tattoos" – Mum' scrawled across one of her feet.


Daughter of the year

A post shared by LILY MCMANUS (@liilymcmanus) on Aug 9, 2016 at 1:00am PDT


And although we are yet to see photographic evidence of it, Spy was reliably informed in May that McManus also has "F*** acai bowls" tattooed on her leg. 

We still hope and dream that one's true.