Te Rōpū Whakahau was born from a need to provide professional and cultural support to Māori who worked in libraries throughout New Zealand. There was also a need for Māori voices 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 formed 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.
Since 1992 Te Rōpū Whakahau has created and participated in initiatives of its own and with its partners to achieve its long and short term goals relating to the recognition and implementation of the Māori language and the Treaty of Waitangi in the information industry, relating to the improved management of Māori, Māori taonga and Māori clients and in uniting all Māori in the profession. TRW 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, New Zealand it jointly delivers Māori information qualifications.