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
2017 – Jacqueline Snee

2019 – Francis Leaf

Francis Leaf

Francis Leaf is a Collections Advisor at AUT’s City Campus Library, and has been a highly valued member of staff here for more than 20 years. Francis quietly gets on with much of the work she does in promoting te reo and tikanga among AUT staff and students, so it is wonderful to have this chance to spotlight her contributions. The following are just some of the activities Francis has led or been involved with in 2017-2018 which we believe make her deserving of the Robin Hakopa Te Reo Māori Award:

  • Committed member of Ngā Takawaenga – the AUT Library Māori Engag​​​ement Group
  • Contributed to AUT Library’s Whakatipu Fridays group, supporting colleagues to learn some reo and tikanga, and to grow in knowledge and confidence
  • Supported and helped to publicise celebrations for Wiki o te reo Māori:
    • In 2018, this included working with the AUT Office of Māori Advancement/AUTSA on a ‘Pop Up Māori’ event. Pop-Up Māori is an interactive learning “pop-up” space where staff and students can engage in various fun activities that will enhance, encourage and celebrate te reo Māori at AUT.
    • In 2017, Francis developed and followed through with an idea for a video and competition promoting the use of te reo Māori on campus, which became the most viewed post on AUT Library social media channels that year.
  • As a member of the Makerspace Operations Group contributed ideas and organised makerspace activities involving use of te reo Māori and aspects of Māori culture
  • Member of conference committee for 19th Wānanga-ā-Tau for Te Toi Tauira mō te Matariki held at AUT in 2018, supporting the Abstract Submission portfolio
  • Contributed to discussions about Māori resources and Māori Subject Headings as part of the Collections Team as well as Ngā Takawaenga
  • Helped with mihi whakatau/powhiri for Research by Librarians for Librarians (RLL2) Symposium held at AUT in May 2018, by organising waiata practice sessions and ensuring protocols were followed
  • Attended whaikōrero / karanga / waiata workshop for Ngā whanau Māori (Māori staff network at AUT)
  • Regularly attended and helped with AUT graduation ceremonies, providing a supportive presence for Māori graduands
  • Attended 1st quarterly hui with Te Hikuroa kōmiti hui (Northland/Auckland region Sub kōmiti to Te Rōpū Whakahau)

Francis demonstrates absolute dedication in promoting te reo and tikanga Māori, and also leads by example in small but significant ways such as consistently using te reo greetings both verbally and in emails. As colleagues, we are hugely appreciative of both her expertise in these areas and her enthusiasm about sharing this knowledge with others. Colleen Leauanae, a colleague from the AUT Office of Māori Advancement has this to say:

Francis has consistently made herself available to support University-wide initiatives aimed to engage staff and students in various fun and educational activities that enhance, encourage, and celebrate te reo and tikanga Māori at AUT.

Our recent Pop-Up Māori event (part of Māori Language Week celebrations) is a good example of Francis’s ability to lead, deliver and facilitate an interactive activity which promoted te reo Māori. Her ability to work within a fast-paced environment, and in collaboration with other departments and groups was exemplary. Francis always comes with a “can do” attitude and is willing to go above and beyond to ensure that staff and students feel a sense of whānau/community/belonging at AUT.

Francis works diligently in promoting Māori potential and educational success at AUT, while valuing and promoting te reo and tikanga Māori. She is a highly trusted colleague, but more importantly a great confidant who is driven by our philosophy of ensuring that we as tangata whenua show exceptional manaaki (care and compassion) towards staff, students and wider communities in all that we do.