Connecting to the Pacific through tā moko

Tā Moko artist, Mokonuiarangi (Moko) Smith, has partnered with Specsavers to apply his artform to a limited edition frame to allow people to carry traditional Māori markings and designs on their glasses. 

“When it comes to designing a physical object I really wanted to reference our crafts of working physically – whakairo (carving) specifically and raranga (weaving),” Moko says. 

As part of the partnership $25 from every pair of glasses sold is donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and their work to end avoidable blindness in the Pacific.  

The Tāmaki based ringatā (moko artist) works with traditional Māori and Polynesia hand tools known as uhi. Made from native wood and pigs’ tusks, Moko has an intimate relationship with his tools that require constant care, repair and rejuvenation. 

He feels huge responsibility to his craft and to the kaiwhiwhi (recipients) of his moko. His work is preserving and evolving cultural practices and designs and helping people share their story and identity on their skin. 

“We have the responsibilities to our tūpuna (ancestors) to uphold. We have the responsibility to uphold tikanga. You’ve got a big responsibility to help facilitate that person to feel comfortable, to reach inside and express sometimes the really intimate, fragile side to themself.”  

The limited edition frames are available as both sunglasses and optical glasses. Every purchase will help the Fred Hollows Foundation in its mission to end avoidable blindness and vision impairment in the Pacific. Find out more at