Native Affairs reveal DNA test of full-blooded Maori woman video

Native Affairs presenter Oriini Kaipara. A DNA test revealed she was "100 per cent Maori".

Native Affairs presenter Oriini Kaipara. A DNA test revealed she was "100 per cent Maori".

DNA tests are becoming more accurate, but do have their flaws, says an expert, following a TV show test that showed a woman was "100 per cent Maori".

Maori Television journalist Oriini Kaipara took the test on Native Affairs on Tuesday night. She said she expected it to be about 80 per cent and would have been surprised if it had been less.

"I would have been asking some questions of my mum and dad," she told Stuff on Wednesday.

Massey University professor Murray Cox.

Massey University professor Murray Cox.

But Massey University Professor in Computational Biology Murray Cox said it was hard to say exactly what 100 per cent could mean in this context.

​* The racial purity train left 200 years ago
New research on ancient Pacific skeletons reveals Maori ancestors
Genealogical DNA: to test or not to test?

Many commercial DNA tests were based in Europe and the United States, which meant the databases were made up of "middle-aged white guys" so there was less data from other parts of the world, such as Asia, Africa, South America, and the Pacific. 

"The cultural connections we make to an ethnic group, far outweigh the DNA that runs in our body," said Argent.

"The cultural connections we make to an ethnic group, far outweigh the DNA that runs in our body," said Argent.

He noted that everyone was a mix of DNA, if they traced their ancestry back far enough. 

"We're all mixes when it comes down to it."

He explained how the testing worked, saying over time DNA changed, but many of those changes did not do anything such as affect skin colour, or strength, or intelligence, but were often found in particular regions. 

Experts could look at an individual's DNA and look for changes, and match them to those found in a particular place. 

Ad Feedback

The weakness in the testing came through a under representation of DNA from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, but as the tests become more popular globally, the data sets were getting bigger and results more accurate.

Kaipara said the results did not change who she was a person, and it did not make her more Maori than anyone else, she said. 

There was no way to specifically define what made someone Maori, but there was a whole range of things, and how a person identified themselves. 

DNA specialist Brad Argent, who conducted the test, said over time the genetic material that is passed down to a person can by "diluted away". 

"In your case ... it's led to you being 100 per cent Maori," Argent said.

"Your brothers and sisters might be different, your parents might be different.

"In broad terms, in the world, we're all becoming a little more mixed it's quite unusual to find anyone pure just one thing.

"Most of us are a mixed bag of everything, and so in some ways you're [Kaipara] kind of unique."

Argent, who is a specialist with pointed out that DNA is just "one tiny part of what makes us who we are". 

"We are shaped by the stories of our ancestors, and not necessarily by our genes," he said.


Kaipara, 33, took part in the test for her show. It revealed  that she was 98 per cent Maori, or Polynesian. 

Argent said her genetic makeup included 1 per cent Scandinavian origins, and 1 per cent Caucasus - the region at the border of Europe and Asia​.

Kaipara did not know any ancestors from those areas, and Argent said the two per cent was likely to be "noise" - meaning she effectively had 100 per cent Maori DNA.

However, Kaipara, confessed to knowing she had two Pakeha ancestors.  

"I know my whakapapa. I have two English tupuna - one on mum's side, and one on dad's," said Kaipara.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

'Party in a box' business pops up

Pop-up party people: Mackenzie Cooper, left, Amber Holdaway, Honor Richardson and Mikayla O'Brien have created a party ...

Four teenagers are making children's parties easier with their pop-up party business venture.

Principal answers Batman call

He may not have a cape, but Northcote Primary School's new principal Andrew Brown has crime-fighting skills and rides a ...

A former crime-fighting, motorbike-riding principal fits the bill for a leader "like Batman".  

Is he back?

Police won't confirm if indecent assaults against two female joggers in Royal Oak could be linked to similar incidents ...

Fears teen who indecently assaulted 10 women in Onehunga last year is behind new attacks on two female joggers.

Waiheke fears loss of immigrant staff

Hon Nikki Kaye MP met with Waiheke Oyster Inn co-owner Johnathan Rutherfurd-Best (pictured) and others to discuss ...

The island's restaurant owners are warning they're in crisis because of immigration rule changes.


The red fans are here

Johnsonville Rugby Football Club's Mike Segetin (centre) shows British and Irish Lions' supporters the meaning of Kiwi ...

Johnsonville is being invaded by red shirts, much to the delight of locals.

Sporting hub for Hutt

Mayor Ray Wallace turns the ceremonial sod to begin stage two of Fraser Park Sportsville.

$12m facelift for park will make it one of the region's premier sporting facilities.

Sexton, Farrell both to start video

Johnny Sexton will start the second test at No 10 for the Lions.

Live: Lions coach Warren Gatland discusses his selections for the second test.

Burglary accused on the run

Police are seeking Eugene Te Amo in relation to burglary offences.

Te Amo is believed to be in the Kapiti Coast/Wellington area.


Secret meeting to save Cathedral

The cathedral has been sitting derelict in the city centre for over six years.

Councillors will meet on Friday to consider giving money to restoring Christ Church Cathedral.

KiwiRail apologises

KiwiRail has apologised to 50 Christchurch residents after trying to force them to sign a "licence to occupy" land ...

KiwiRail says sorry to residents for mishandling a Heathcote Valley rail corridor agreement.

Bus trial for hospital staff

Afternoon and night shift staff get priority use of an Antigua St car park building as the Canterbury DHB scrambles to ...

A new Christchurch Hospital park-and-ride service will help - just not night shift nurses. 

Peter Thiel here just 12 days

Peter Thiel's application form for New Zealand citizenship.

Controversial US billionaire in NZ for 12 days as a resident before becoming a citizen.


Flock of ducks befriend captain

They flock in numbers, trying to be the first to get the bread.

A flock of ducks joins this Taupo cruise captain everyday as he motors around the lake.

Man chases child in fog

Cambridge East School principal Hamish Fenemor said the man took advantage of the thick fog in the area to try and chase ...

Driver follows pupil to school before jumping out and chasing child through thick fog just a block from school.

City's River Plan gets going

The Hamilton River Plan is expected to take about 30 years to roll out.

Three River Plan projects have been given the go ahead for Hamilton.

Calves found suckling on killed cow

"They just couldn't understand why she wasn't standing up," farmer Noel Hair said (file photo).

Farmer found calves hungry for milk and a bullet in the eye of their mother.


Is it time to regulate mountain climbing?

Officials were waiting for daylight to break on Mt Taranaki before airlifting the man's body off.

Rescue team prepare to recover body of mountain climber

Woman's cancer shock

Nicole Huston and Emma Wilson were enjoying a girls' trip to Hawaii at this time last year.

She went to the doctor expecting to be given iron pills but was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Injure cyclist, buy her a $3k bike

A female cyclist was taken to hospital after she was knocked off her bike by a motorist. (File Photo).

To make amends this motorist shelled out $3400 for a new bike for the female cyclist he hit.

Pub punches plague man

Reginald Pearce was sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday after a violent assault in a city bar last ...

Victim says he's a different person after being concussed during a violent pub attack.


Physicality key for Laumape video

Ngani Laumape will become All Black No 1160 if he makes it on the field on Saturday.

Moving from the loose forwards to midfield started the rise of Ngani Laumape in rugby.

700 new jobs needed

Bidfoods assistant general manager Adam Rapson shows work experience pupils Reece Hodgson, right, and Josh Alexander the ...

Quick action is needed to make sure Manawatu is ready for logistics boom, CEDA says.

Missing the point

The One Plan is supposed to preserve the Manawatu River for future generations.

OPINION: Horizons was asleep at the wheel and ignoring its One Plan obligations.

Home is where the words are

Thom Conroy is the editor of Home: New Writing.

What home means to some of New Zealand's best writers is housed in a new book.


Donald Trump comes to Nelson

Wellington actor Alexander Sparrow impersonates Donald Trump in his DJ Trump shows.

One of the world's top Trump impersonators is bringing his show to East St.

Socks, sex and school

Nelson College for Girls student Madi Fulton Buckle wearing her over-the-knee socks.

A Nelson school's ban on 'creepy porn looking' socks has sparked a student documentary.

Driver injured after failed overtake

Emergency services attend the scene of a crash involving a truck and a 4WD near the Whangamoa Saddle on Wednesday night

A  truck fire which led to a separate crash near Havelock left a driver with critical injuries.

'Good-guy' farmer's free motocross

Travis Langford hosts motocross for kids every Wednesday after school on his track.

A farmer has turned a paddock into a free motocross "playground" for local kids.


SH6 reopens after truck fire

Emergency services had to cut a driver from his car after and attempt to overtake vehicles banked up from the previous ...

One lane of the road between Havelock and Nelson has reopened following a truck fire on Wednesday evening

Clean pee pays off

Charles Wiremu Maru used codenames such as "garlic bread" to offer drugs to people through text messages. (File photo)

Man who used codenames including "garlic bread" to sell cannabis and meth is now off drugs.

Maori school for Marlborough

Omaka Marae general manager Kiley Nepia, back left, with Renwick School principal Simon Heath, back right, and some of ...

"Where succeeding as Maori and being Maori is not an extra curriculum activity, but is at the centre and heart of everything we do."

The little weed threatening NZ

Seddon farmer Tim Struthers discusses the spraying programme he has introduced to fight Chilean Needle Grass on his property.

It used to be a farmers' problem, but it could threaten the country's other 'cash cow': tourism.

South Canterbury

Young footballer US bound

Timaru Hearts team member Michael Henderson, 19, has been selected for the men's football programme at the United States ...

Timaru footballer busy raising funds after being selected to study at Californian college.

Low levels lift prices video

An aerial view showing Tekapo B power Station at Lake Pukaki. The lake level is currently at 524 metres above sea level, ...

'Spot' power prices could continue to rise as South Island hydro lakes drop.

Cyclists scaring pedestrians video

Geraldine Environmental Trust members Graeme Wills, Peter McCabe and Dave Attwood have taken issue with cyclists ...

Cyclists hurtling down track "like a bat out of hell" scare elderly walkers, group says.

Car rolls off railway

Police abandoned a pursuit after the vehicle entered the railway tracks at the junction of Seadown and Meadows Rd, near ...

Pursuit ends with fleeing  driver crashing car off railway near Timaru.


Steel dominate Premiership final

Ginna Crampton, Wendy Frew (centre) and Shannon Francois celebrate Premiership success.

 The Southern Steel complete the perfect season with a big win over the Central Pulse.

Pet goat killed

22022017 Photo: ROSS GIBLIN\Fairfax
Generic pic: emergency services, police, police car, ambulance, Wellington Free ...

Police are investigating reports of illegal hunting after a pet goat was killed.

Milford tourist boom's problems

The stunning Mitre Peak rising 1.6km vertically out of Milford Sound.

Visitor numbers to Milford Sound are expected to reach 875,000 in 2017 and exceed one million by 2019.

Southland Arts Festival runs at loss

Southland Festival of the Arts organiser Angela Newell ahead of the 2017 festival held in April and May.

The month-long Southland Arts Festival ran at an $8000 loss this year and changes may be afoot.

Ad Feedback