Meri Mygind nee Aratema worked as the Senior Māori Reference Librarian in Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – National Library of New Zealand. Meri also lectured in Māori Information Management at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki and provided reference and research advice to the Linden and Whakatāne campuses of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, the Tenths Trust, the Te Āti Awa Trust board and to colleagues, friends and whānau around the county and the world. 


This memorial award was presented by Te Rōpū Māori – Māori Staff Association of the National Library of New Zealand – Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa to Te Rōpū Whakahau at Takapuwahia Marae in 2007 in memory of Meri Mygind (Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Awa) and Senior Māori Reference Librarian at the National Library.

  • The award represents Meri’s personal and professional commitment in all areas of Māori librarianship and information management and is awarded to wahine Māori in Te Rōpū Whakahau.
  • The award is a tukutuku patiki titled Pouhine.  It embodies Meri’s commitment in taking care of manuwhiri in libraries and was created by Kohai Grace of Ngāti Toa / Ngāti Raukawa / Te Āti Awa.


  • The award will be presented to a female, Māori member who has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of Māori services within libraries, archives and information repositories and within Te Rōpū Whakahau.

Any member may be nominated, but all nominees must consent to their inclusion.

  • Nominations for the award must be written and can be submitted at anytime during the year, with the closing date of one week prior to hui-ā-tau. Email nominations to 
  • A nomination for the award must include a written account stating how the nominee has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion Māori services within libraries, archives and repositories within Te Rōpū Whakahau.
  • The successful candidate will be notified by correspondence in the new year and will be asked to attend the Te Rōpū Whakahau Hui-ā-Tau to accept the award in person.
  • Ngā Kaiwhakahau will shortlist applicants for the award and select a recipient.

List of Recipients

2009 – Haneta Pierce
2010 – Raewyn Paewai
2011 – Ann Reweti
2012 – Tangimeriana Rua
2013 – Frances Reiri-Smith
2014 – Anahera Sadler
2015 – Vicki-Anne Heikell
2016 – Te Paea Paringatai
2017 – Ria Wihapi-Waikerepuru
2019 – Kelly Te Kare
2021 – Bella Tarawhiti


Bella Tarawhiti – Waikato Tainui

We are delighted to support our colleague Bella Tarawhiti for this award.  This recognises her many, many years of service within the Library profession and her support and promotion of, and dedication to, Te Rōpū Whakahau.

Bella is a kanohi kitea in the Library, and maintains important links within Māoridom through manaakitanga, tikanga, te reo, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga and of course, her whakapapa.  I think the Meri Mygind award is a fitting close to her long career in the National Library of New Zealand, as she plans on dramatically reducing her hours with a nod to retiring.

The criteria for the award is a female, Māori member who has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of Māori services within libraries, archives and information repositories and within Te Rōpū Whakahau.  Bella has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of Māori services within libraries, archives and repositories within Te Rōpū Whakahau, and is deserving of the Meri Mygind Award.

Bella Tarawhiti and Public Engagement team
Bella Tarawhiti and Public Engagement team

Kelly Te Kare, Poutaikaka Aronga Māori – Libraries Service Capability team, Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland Libraries.

 “He mihi whakataki tēnei mo to tātou tuahine a Kelly Te Kare. Anei rā he wahine toa, he wahine māia, te mūrau o te tini, te wenerau o te mano. Ēhia rā te wā kua tae mai a Kelly ā tinana mai mō mātou ngā hunga kaimahi Māori.  E mohio pai ana mātou, kāore ko ia te wahine e whai i tēnei momo tohu, koirā te take māna hei whiwhi.”  Roimata Taniwha-Paoo

Kelly embodies the values of tikanga Māori, she is highly professional, is an excellent administrator and respected leader among her peers known widely for her manaakitanga (caring nature). She has been tagged ‘Kelly Kihikihi’ after the summer reading character who is most like her. Some even call her “Te Kuini o Ingarani” after a humorous language learning session with her peers in Otaki.

Kelly has worked tirelessly to see the recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi implemented within the Auckland Libraries sector and continues to develop and support staff with their goals to honour Māori responsiveness, so that the goals of Auckland Council ‘serve, achieve, collaborate and develop’ go beyond merely being written on paper.

The following examples from Kelly’s peers demonstrate how she puts those four wide goals of serve, achieve, collaborate and develop into action, although for her they are all just part of who she is as a mana wahine Māori (see Jacqueline’s comment):

Kia Māia te Whai – Auckland Libraries Summer Reading Programme:

She has quietly led the push for all of the tamariki of Tāmaki Makaurau who will benefit from the Auckland Libraries implementation of the Māori responsiveness plans – ‘Te Kauhanganui’ me te ‘Whakatipu I te reo’. Including building a valued relationship with Huia Publishers to improve the authenticity and integrity of the Kia Māia te Whai programme – showing the kaupapa the respect, wairua and tino rangatiratanga it deserves. As the programme touches close to 15,000 children across Auckland in its bilingual form – having this integrity is paramount to building closer ties with Māori whānau. (Not to mention the good that the full immersion booklet can do in the future).

Te Wānanga O Raukawa Collaboration & Day to Day Leadership:

Kelly has led the educational empowerment of a group of 11 library staff, herself included, by organising a collaboration with Te Wānanga o Raukawa to see those staff complete their diploma in ‘Heke Puna Maumahara’ Māori information studies. For the advanced speakers, including Kelly – they showed great patience and support towards the struggles of us beginnners.

Ae, Kelly helped us all – and her mana kept me in the program. Truly. Kelly is a blessing, and deserves all the plaudits we can give her”.Genavieve Tarawa, Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, Glenn Innes Library.

“Our wahine, who work within Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makarau deliver a world class work ethic of the highest order when it comes to our goal for Tāmaki and the wider community. As our night sky continues to shine at this time of year, Matariki – one such star within our Kaunihera Māori whānau shines brightest of all, ‘Kelly (Ka mau te wehi) Te Kare’. Her manaakitanga to us, and the council is of the highest order and her passion in the pursuit of excellence to help her kaunihera whānau strengthens all of us to a commitment in our own mahi so we too push forward with council policy to provide a wold class product. Thank you Kelly. Please acknowledge our wahine toa for mahi well done. Ngā mihi, aroha tatou”.

Piripi Livingstone, Mobile Librarian, Tāmaki Makaurau.

Roimata Taniwha-Paoo reflects on Kelly’s mahi and the day to day support for kaimahi Māori staff:

 (The following is a translation of kōrero Māori in opening paragraph).

“This kōrero is to support the words that have been spoken regarding our tuahine Kelly Te Kare. She is a true embodiment of a wahine toa, someone who we depend on.

There have been countless times where Kelly has shown up to support our Kaimahi Maori in their endeavours. We know she is not one to seek this recognition, this is why we believe she deserves it.”

Roimata Taniwha-Paoo Senior Children’s and Youth Librarian Otara

Eunice Te Rangiuaia, Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, Community Libraries South/East found study difficult in light of personal circumstance and change going on in her whānau. Therefore Eunice adds that she too shows ‘tautoko’ (support) for Kelly’s inclusion for this award and thanks for her personal commitment to see her and all of our rōpū succeed.

“Kelly was tireless in her determination to see each and every one of us cross the finish line on the Heke Puna Maumahara study, despite being a student with her own papers to submit as well – even to the point of putting students before her own whānau needs. She’s an inspirational kaiako and her words come from the heart”.

Fleur Coleman, Senior Children’s & Youth Librarian, Mahurangi East.

Hui at Owairaka, Unitec Pt Chevalier.

Recently Kelly organised a successful hui at Owairaka to bring all Māori staff under the one roof to start a sharing of knowledge, with all staff old and new, to celebrate being Māori and to forge new ways to implement plans already in place. Present over the two day hui were Mirla Edmonson, Greg Morgan and Louise La Hatte (outgoing LIANZA president). Together Auckland Libraries staff works hard to set a precedent for the rest of Aotearoa in terms of Māori responsiveness.

Maureen Ned, Poukokiri Whakatapoko Tapaenga, Content and Access speaks of Kelly:

“I would just like to say that Kelly is an inspiration for all & continuously exhibits the true meaning of manaakitanga & taurimatanga.  Her bubbly, fun, can do it attitude is an absolute blessing, especially in times of stress & uncertainty.

  I think she is the backbone to supporting us all, (Primarily Māori staff, but extending beyond this). Kelly’s expertise and advice also extends to supporting our Principal Māori Advisor, Judith Waaka and Māori Service Coach, Joseph Ramanui.  Her fab idea of setting up the mentoring programme for new kaimahi Māori with current/experienced staff is just one example. 

  We have also seen Kelly in action as our kaikaranga at Owairaka, to my knowledge Roimata is the only other wahine toa who can perform karanga? (Possibly there are newer staff, that we are still bonding with and getting to know?) – Set in a Māori worldview we’d be stranded at the marae gate without them, or we would lose the appropriate connection and meaning by employing someone unknown to us”.  

Anne Dickson, Manager Community Libraries, Mahurangi East Library, former Youth Service Development member, and early contributor to Auckland Libraries Summer Reading Programme has the following to say of Kelly:

‘She ‘Walks the Talk’ is a living, role model of Whakatipu I te reo Māori she actively encourages and supports her colleagues in doing the same on their learning journey.’

“I 100% endorse this application and all that has been said. Kelly with her strong kaupapa Māori values has helped all of us in our roles to navigate through the Auckland Council system as strong Māori.  She does this tirelessly and without ever seeking acknowledgement which why it so important to us, for her to be recognised for the mana wahine that she is”.

Jacqueline Snee , Poukokiri Rangahau Māori, Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Our final words here are delivered by Allison Dobbie, former Amorangi, General Manager Libraries & Information, now Principal Development Advisor Auckland Council.

“Kelly epitomises the concept of manaakitanga in everything she does. This includes being   generous with her time to assist others, in particular to coach and build skills in others, even when facing other heavy work and family commitments.

She has involved her own family in supporting powhiri and other important cultural occasions, to the point of also providing kai and nourishment. One such example was during the hosting of a group of international visitors to Auckland Libraries. She does this unstintingly and expects nothing in return.

The behaviours of serve, achieve and collaborate are inherent in her values and everything she does. She always goes the extra mile, to resolve a customer matter or assist colleagues achieve a great result. She then will take none of the credit for the achievement, quietly attributing it to others.

She offers genuine respect to everybody, and in return is very highly respected in all her dealings with the community and with other staff.  Her connections with iwi strengthen our reputation.

Her current role relates to building service capability. In fact she has demonstrated the ‘development’ behaviour in all her roles, including that of PA, often by coaching others in a way that builds confidence and trust.

I felt that I was in very safe hands when she was supporting me as my PA, because of the way she collaborated with others to achieve great outcomes for customers and colleagues, and because of the care she took with relationships and ensuring that we were safe in terms of matauranga Maori”.

Roimata Taniwha-Paoo Senior Children’s and Youth Librarian Otara;

Genavieve Tarawa, Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, Glenn Innes Library;

Piripi Livingstone, Mobile Librarian, Tāmaki Makaurau;

Eunice Te Rangiuaia, Kaikokiri Ratonga Māori, Community Libraries South/East;

Fleur Coleman, Senior Children’s & Youth Librarian, Mahurangi East;

Maureen Ned, Poukokiri Whakatapoko Tapaenga, Content and Access;

Anne Dickson, Manager Community Libraries, Mahurangi East Library;

Jacqueline Snee, Poukokiri Rangahau Māori, Tāmaki Makaurau; 

Allison Dobbie, former Amorangi, General Manager Libraries & Information

Now Principal Development Advisor;

Tautoko ko Jermaine Tai-Rakena, Poutoko Ratonga Māori, Community Libraries South/East.

(If you look to the locations and collaboration among this list of names you will see the reach that Kelly has in just one small area of her vast commitments and connections in Auckland Libraries and beyond, for Auckland Council).

Ngā mihi koutou, thank-you all for your time and consideration of our request, we all hope that you will see what a taonga tuku iho – a treasure handed down Kelly is and just how blessed we all are to have her amongst us,

‘Ko te kai a te rangatira he kōrero

The food of chiefs is dialogue’