A group of tattoo artists have set up a tā moko station at the frontline of the Ihumātao protests in Auckland's Mangere.
The artists supporting the Ihumātao occupation include Tyler-Jade and Hirini Katene from Onehunga's The Native Studios. In a facebook post they said they were standing with Ihumatāo whānau to protect their wahi tapu.
"We've been on the front line throughout the week; the korero, wanānga and aroha that has been shared is ātaahua," the Facebook post said.
They told their customers to get in touch if they had a booking this week and would like to have their session at Ihumātao.
Moko artist Graham Tipene from Te Wheke Moko Design Studio said Hirini got the ball rolling by setting up last night, and that more artists were expected to come through.
"If we're going to fight for land, then we should also carry on the struggles that we've had for all our other taonga, the reo, [and] our moko is definitely part of that as well," he said.
"I think the way we want to show support is by being able to do the mahi that our tūpuna have done. And in this space, for some people the wairua is absolutely right to receive a piece. And so they come in and have a kōrero, and the next step is to take it on."
Nikora Davis and Harmony Smith both decided to get the traditional markings done at Ihumātao.
Harmony Smith said it was fitting, and she took a leap of faith to get her moko kauae completed this morning.
"All the mahi that I've seen my whanau do in the last couple of days, and the many generations beforehand, it's brought unity and it's an empowering moment.
"It's a time where I want to express what's in my heart. There's no whakamā there. There's no reason for me to not, it just seemed like the path was paved for me."