Our Process

Otautahi Tattoo - New Zealand's Premier Tattoo Studios

It’s time for that new tattoo, you’ve got a concept of what you’re after and you’ve brought a couple photos with you on your phone to show the desk manager, these images are perfect for helping us narrow down which of the crew would be best suited. The desk manager books a consultation appointment and from here you get the chance to outlay your ideas in full to the artist so that they can get all the information they need to get into the design process.


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With our cultural work, especially the Maori Ta-Moko and Kirituhi design, the process starts by sitting down with one of our artists to have a talk/korero about the design, the meaning and the journey that is to be depicted in the design. Not only do you get a first hand look at the drawing in person right away, you also get a chance to see how the design will fit and flow with your own body, directly on the skin.
Our non cultural artists have consultations and work on designs the same initial phase of sitting and talking over the whole idea, giving you a chance to outlay your ideas and plans. Stencils are the primary means of design application to skin for the non cultural artists, creating a carbon transfer, to copy the image from paper to skin accurately. This works in a similar sense to the freehand draw up by showing you how the designs sit and fit on the body, giving you a chance to see how the tattoo ‘looks’ before it is actually applied into your skin.


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We aim to finish a tattoo in one session if possible, aiming to go from this initial draw up/stencil stage to a completed, finished piece! We do however understand that pain thresholds, budgets and many elements factor into session times so we can break down the job into manageable sessions.


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Then we are done and the tattoo is finished, the machines stop buzzing and you know you’ve made it! From here the artist explains the aftercare process of how to look after and take care of your new piece art wearable art, how to clean and treat it along with some recommendations of what to avoid and a cream to use to help speed up the healing process, then the final photos are taken and the job is done!


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In all our consultations and draw sessions we aim to give as much information and to lay out as solid a plan as we can manage, to show you the client, just what we can do for you and make sure you’re stoked, before the tattoo even starts!


At Otautahi Tattoo, all of our studios adhere to strict health and safety guidelines to provide a clean and hygienic working environment for all of our staff and customers, with multiple daily full clean downs. Fresh, single use and disposable gear is used for each and every tattoo but if you are concerned about any of the equipment used feel free to ask any of our staff members to take you out the back and give a run down of our hygiene and safety procedures for all supplies used.

We have a full aftercare run down sheet given with each tattoo and also have PawPaw ointment for available in each store for optimal tattoo aftercare!


All equipment is put through a state of the art heated ultrasonic cleaner, thoroughly cleaned and put through the heated ultrasonic cleaner again before being bagged and put into the autoclave (regularly checked and certified). If you are even the slightest bit concerned feel free to ask any of our friendly staff members to take you out the back and give you a full run down of our hygiene and safety procedures.