The recipent of this year’s award is someone who has been working in the library sector for quite some time, and currently works for her public library. Prior to her arrival, there was a small rōpū trying to improve Mātauraka Māori services for the libraries in their rohe, with small movements already made. But her arrival was a game changer for this rōpū, for her library network, and for her library community.

The recipient of this award has an infectious enthusiam and a real joy for libraries, te reo Māori & tikaka Māori. Her regular saying is that she does it for “the mana of the customers, the mana of the collections and the mana of the staff” (something she says she heard from Anahera).

With her leadership, she has empowered her rōpū, Te Kupeka, to apply for funding and roll out many programmes and opportunities. We will name a few:

Te reo Māori classes for kaimahi, mana whenua-led tikaka wānaka for staff, weekly bilingual storytime – Te wā kōrero reorua, weekly sessions open to the public to kōrero i te reo Māori, an annual staff hākari for Matariki, karakia in meetings, weekly wellbeing waiata sessions for kaimahi and a noho marae at Ōtākou for kaimahi.

In her role as the Youth services coordinator, she has rearranged the shelving in the Childrens library at Dunedin City Library to ensure that pukapuka i te reo Māori are a central element of the collection, and the way in which they are displayed make it attractive to whānau.

The whānau atmosphere that she developed within Wā kōrero reorua storytime has been life changing for those who regularly attend. Whānau come to learn te reo and to ensure their tamariki have te reo Māori as well as tikaka Māori in their life. The recipent of this award consulted with mana whenua regarding the tikaka of the sessions and ensured that the order of what happens teaches whānau about local tikaka as well. She also trained staff to ensure that they had the capability to hold up the kaupapa as a rōpū.

In order to receive this award, the recipent must show initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of Te Reo and Tikaka Māori within libraries. This years recipient has done all of these things tirelessly since she set foot in Dunedin Public Libraries.

It is our honour to announce that this years winner of the Robin Hakopa Te reo Māori award is: Lynn Vare.

Written by Tumuaki Te Ropu Whakahau

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