Taupo teen angry over misused photo

  • 02/07/2016
Taupo teen angry over misused photo

When is your image not your image?

It's the question being pondered by one Taupo teen whose face has gone global without her consent.

Hinerauwhiri Paki became an internet sensation last year when a video of her poi dancing to Beyonce made the Huffington Post.

But it's an image taken of her when she was just 12 years old that has Ms Paki's pois in a tangle.

Six years ago she was asked by German photographer Jimmy Nelson to pose for a photograph promoting Wairakei Terraces, a thermal spa in Taupo.

Ms Paki's parents consented because they believed they were supporting the spa which is owned by their iwi Ngāti Tuwharetoa.

However the picture has since been reproduced and used in ways they never agreed to -- used in exhibitions, advertisements, cartoons and paintings.

In fact google the phrase 'Māori girl' and it’s the first image that comes up.

Ms Paki's portrait has sold for up to 80,000 euros, but the teen has never seen a cent.

Ms Paki says her face has been misappropriated and she wants people to understand she is more than just a Māori girl, "I have a whakapapa, I have a story."

For the full story watch The Hui this Sunday at 9:30am.