Newspaper Article 1999 – Auntie Lulu dies, 83

Auntie Lulu dies, 83

One of Hawke’s Bay Maoridom’s most respected women leaders has died aged 83.

Ruruhira Robin, known widely as Auntie Lulu, died in Hastings yesterday.

Mrs Robin was born at the Te Tapairu Marae, near Waipawa. She was educated at Napier’s Hukarere School. She married Aroha o Te Rangi Robin and moved to Hastings where they raised a family of nine children.

Son Alec Robin said his mother followed the education of her children closely and was the first Maori on the Parent-Teacher Association of Mayfair School.

She was a supporter of the kohanga reo movement.

In the 1980s she and other Maori women leaders in the Heretaunga taiwhenua were instrumental in establishing Maori social services organisation Maatua Whangai.

Mrs Robin was on a group advising the director-general of Social Welfare on Maori issues and perspectives from 1985 till last year.

She was also active in the Hawke’s Bay Maori Women’s Welfare League.

Mr Robin said present director-general Margaret Bazley called in to see his mother at the Gracelands retirement home where she lived shortly before her death.

Mrs Robin was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1991 for her services to Hawke’s Bay Maoridom. She was also awarded a service medal from the Anglican Church for the many years she spent on the vestry of the Waipatu-Moteo Pariha church. She also won a Hastings District Council civic award.

Mr Robin said his mother was born into the Ratana faith but converted to the Anglican Church where her husband was active before his death in the mid-60s.

“She always retained warm feelings toward the Ratana Church,” he said.

She supported the idea of Maori MPs and was for many years on he [the] the Hawke’s Bay Labour Electorate Committee.

“She was a bit of a radical in her time.”

Mrs Robin is survived by eight of her nine children, 26 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.

Her funeral will be at the Kohupatiki Marae, Clive, tomorrow.

Photo caption – Mrs Robin

Original digital file


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Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

26 February 1999


The Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Margaret Bazley
  • Alec Robin
  • Aroha o Te Rangi Robin
  • Ruruhira (Auntie Lulu) Robin

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