Te Rōpū Whakahau was established to provide professional and cultural support to Māori who worked in libraries throughout New Zealand. As part of this, there was a need for Māori to have a voice to inform policies and practices relating to the care of Māori material in libraries and archives, and the provision of library and information services generally.
Te Rōpū Whakahau was officially launched in 1992 as a formal network and ran as a special interest group of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand – Aotearoa (LIANZA) and in 1995 entered into a formal agreement with LIANZA and became an independent incorporated society the following year.
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Since 1992 Te Rōpū Whakahau has created and participated in initiatives of its own and with strategic partners to achieve long and short term goals relating to the recognition and implementation of the te reo Māori and the Tiriti o Waitangi in the information industry, relating to the improved taonga Māori; Māori client access and services; and improved work place culture for Māori.
Te Rōpū Whakahau runs annual hui; maintains listserves; and publishes a regular newsletter. It has run seminar programmes; made policy submissions; participated in research projects; and produced several publications. In partnership with Te Wānanga o Raukawa, in Ōtaki, it jointly delivers Māori information qualifications.