This memorial trophy was presented to Te Rōpū Whakahau at the Hui-ā-tau, Wellington 14-15 Huitanguru 2001. It represents the importance of te reo and tikanga to Māori cultural identity and Robin’s personal contribution and commitment to librarianship.  The award recognises the recipient’s commitment in promoting te reo and tikanga Māori within the library profession. This award will be presented annually at the Te Rōpū Whakahau Hui-ā-Tau.


  • The award will be presented to a member who has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori within libraries 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 of each year. Email nominations to trw@trw.org.nz 
  • A nomination for the award must include a written account stating how the nominee has shown initiative, creativity, dedication and promotion of te reo and tikanga Māori within libraries and/or within Te Rōpū Whakahau.
  • The recipient will present a formal address detailing their efforts and activities during the year at the next Te Rōpū Whakahau Hui-ā-Tau, just prior to the presentation to the next recipient.
  • The recipient is expected to be available to judge Te Kura Pounamu awards.
  • Ngā Kaiwhakahau will shortlist applicants for the award and select a recipient.

List of Recipients

2003 – Ann Reweti
2004 – Raniera Kingi
2005 – Haneta Pierce
2006 – Anahera Morehu
2007 – Alice Heather
2008 – Nekenekeiterangi Paul
2009 – Sandy Nepia
2010 – Raewyn Paewai
2011 – Cellia Joe-Olsen
2012 – Jacinta Paranihi
2013 – Hemi Rukuwai Jury
2014 – Te Rangirangi Tangohau

2015 – Sheeanda Field
2016 – Ariana Tikao
17 – Jacqueline Snee

2019 – Francis Leaf 

2020 – Taina Tangaere McGregor

Taina H Tangaere McGregor

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria.

Attached is an episode of Waka Huia in which Taina discusses her career as Oral Historian, Maori: YouTube

Taina McGregor is a worthy winner of the Robin Hakopa Memorial
Award. She epitomizes the qualities the award stands for and has spent
her entire life living, speaking, and preserving te reo.
Taina grew up on the East Coast hearing te reo at home and in the
community. As a 19-year-old she boarded her first plane and arrived in
Wellington. She met her husband to be, married and raised a family.
At this time, she pursued academic studies and began her lifelong
commitment to telling the stories of the men and women whose lives
were impacted by World War II. She completed her Masters thesis on
the role of Māori women before, during and after World War II, was
Principal Interviewer on the C Company Oral History Project and is a
Trustee on the Ngā Taonga a Ngā Tama Toa Trust.
In her 20 years as Oral Historian at the Alexander Turnbull Library she
has trained iwi, hapū and whānau around the country, ensuring the
voices of their koroua, kuia, aunties and uncles are preserved. She gives voice to people who may otherwise not be heard. These personal
reflections throw new light on the past.  
Taina’s commitment to te reo extends to ensuring that delicacies of
regional variations in te reo are preserved. This is both through her mahi where she encourages communities to use their kīwaha and kupu
whakarite but also in the way she shares her own Ngāti Porou reo and
spirit. Her exclamation ‘E hika mā’ is almost as much her trademark as
her perfect nails and hair. 
A generous teacher, Taina fosters and supports the use of te reo in the
National Library. Her generosity to share her knowledge and her
patience gives her colleagues the confidence to kōrero. 
Taina works tirelessly to preserve te reo and is a truly deserving winner of the Robin Hakopa Memorial Award.

This nomination is made by Tharron Bloomfield (Project Curator, Maori – Auckland Museum), Vicki-Anne Heikell (Field Conservator – National Library of New Zealand) and Mereana Taungapeau (Pou Herenga Manager – Auckland Museum).