tattoos in new zealand

The New Zealand Tattoo and Art Festival is back!

The New Zealand Tattoo and Art Festival will be held at the TBS Stadium in New Plymouth for the 6th year running, and the guys from Sunset Tattoo will be there. The festival is being held this year on the weekend of the 26th & 27th November, and our three artists, Tom, Tristan and Fabian, will all be taking pre-bookings and walk-ups. But not only will the Sunset boys be heading down, we’re also packing a couple of aces up our sleeve. Regular guest artist Jacob Cross will be joining us, and the outstanding Makoto Horimatsu is flying over from Japan for this special occasion!

 

In only five short years, the festival has become Australasia’s biggest tattoo show, with over 250 artists and models attending. As usual, the standard of the artists attending is world class. The festival will see such names as Tommy Helm from Empire State Studio and Megan Massacre from Grit N Glory tattoo, both in New York. Also representing the States is Jesse Smith, from Loose Screw Tattoo, and Teresa Sharpe from Studio 13 Tattoo.

This year’s festival will have more entertainment than ever before! With Freestyle Motocross shows featuring Levi Sherwood, BMX from the Freestyle Lifestyle crew, live music from Ash Grunwald & Bleeders, live performances from LuckyHell & Elegy Ellem, ALC Ramp Riot mini ramp skate comp, Tattoo Competitions, retail stalls, food vendors, café & bar plus much more!

If you’re heading to New Plymouth for the festival, pre-book with one of our artists today! Simply email info@sunsettattoo.co.nz

Tattoo statistics in New Zealand

According to a recent survey, nearly one in five adult New Zealanders have been tattooed, and surprisingly, women are more likely to get one than both men and young people.

A UMR Research survey of people aged 18 years and over indicated 19 percent of adults have been tattooed, with the rate rising to 36 percent among the adults younger than 30.

Overall, 22 percent of women have been tattooed, compared with 17 percent of men.

Cultural divide

And there was an even bigger split on ethnic lines: almost half (47 percent) of Maori and Pacific Islanders had been tattooed but only 15 percent of other ethnicities.

"Polynesians gave the English language the word tattoo which is derived from the Samoan word tatau, so it should be no surprise that Pacific Islanders and Maori were also far more likely to have had tattoos than others," said a director of the research company, Tim Grafton.

Almost one third (32 percent) of parents with dependent children had a tattoo compared to 13 percent of the rest of the adult population.

Regrets? Na bro!

Few of those surveyed had any regrets, with 85 percent of people with a tattoo saying they did not regret it. Although out of the small minority that did, men were slightly more likely to have regrets than women. “The biggest reason for regretting a tattoo was getting someone’s name,” Tim says. “Guys are surprisingly sentimental when it comes to love lasting forever, whereas women aren’t that stupid.”

If you want to join the growing percentage of Kiwis with a tattoo, then give Sunset studio a call today. Our friendly, professional and experienced staff will be happy to have a chat with you about what you are looking for. Even if it’s your girlfriend’s name…

 

 

A brief History of Tattoos in New Zealand

The styles and methods of tattooing in 21st century New Zealand are extremely diverse. From traditional Maori and Pacifica styles, through to modern Anime, the style is varied, but tattooing first began in New Zealand with Ta Moko.

It’s impossible to establish when Ta Moko started as there are no written records pre-colonisation, as there was no formal Maori written language. Instead, historians have had to rely on archaeologists and the accounts of the first European settlers. Excavated sites have found tattooing tools dating back to the very earliest settlers, with some of the tools the same as the ones used in Samoa. Although the patterns and designs vary throughout the Pacific when it comes to tattoos, the technique of rhythmically tapping a bone chisel, lashed to a small wooden shaft remains the same.

Some of the earliest accounts of tattooing in New Zealand were by Sydney Parkinson. Parkinson was Captain James Cook’s artist on board the Endeavour, when it landed in Poverty Bay in 1769. He sketched and painted local Maori displaying their Moko, and described in detail the different styles and patterns he witnessed.

The Explorers noticed that Maori women were not as extensively tattooed as the men. Their upper lips were outlined, usually in dark blue, and their nostrils were also very finely incised. The chin moko was always the most popular, and continued to be practiced even into the 1970s.

Ta Moko facial tattoos aren’t just for decoration, they also tell a story. A person’s ancestry is indicated on each side of the face. The left side is generally (but not always, depending on the tribe) the father's side, while the right hand side indicates the mother's ancestry. If one side of a person's ancestry was not of rank, that side of the face would have no Moko design. Likewise if, in the centre forehead area there is no Moko design, this means the wearer either has no rank, or has not inherited rank.

The statistics on tattoos in New Zealand

New Zealand has a large tattoo culture, more so the the rest of the developed world, with nearly one in five adult Kiwis sporting some form of ink. This isn't really surprising, but what is, is the fact that women here are more likely to get a tattoo than the men!

A UMR Research survey of people aged 18 years and over indicated 19 percent of adults have been tattooed, with the rate rising to 36 percent among the adults younger than 30.

Overall, 22 percent of women have been tattooed, compared with 17 percent of men.

And there was an even bigger split on ethnic lines: almost half (47 percent) of Maori and Pacific Islanders had been tattooed but only 15 percent of other ethnicities.

"Polynesians gave the English language the word tattoo which is derived from the Samoan word tatau, so it should be no surprise that Pacific Islanders and Maori were also far more likely to have had tattoos than others," said a director of the research company, Tim Grafton.

Almost one third (32 percent) of parents with dependent children had a tattoo compared to 13 percent of the rest of the adult population.

Few had any regrets, with 85 percent of people with a tattoo saying they did not regret it. 

If you're interested in getting a tattoo, then come see the professionals. Here at Sunset Tattoo, we have a clean, relaxed studio that adheres to the very highest in Health & Safety. Our artists are all highly experienced and each specialise in different tattoo designs.

Give us a call today, or book in for an appointment.