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Tips for searching ingoa Māori

A good place to start is with a keyword search using our Collections search tool. The record titles are listed as they were written at the time, which means:

  • Māori names may be spelled incorrectly or as one word

  • spellings and phrasings may have changed over time

  • a person’s name might be entered using initials or an alias.

When you’re searching for people, places, landmarks, or events, it’s a good idea to try different variations, without macrons.

For example:

  • Wanganui/Whanganui

  • Ngai Tahu/Kai Tahu/Ngaitahu Kaitahu

  • pa/pah

  • hauhau/hauhaus /hau haus/hau hau

  • Maori/Maaori/native/natives

The asterisk symbol (*) acts like a wildcard and may bring up more relevant results. For example, Maori* will search for Maori, Maoris and Maoritanga. Search for ingoa Māori in Collections search.

Tracing your whakapapa

The information we hold about iwi, hapū, whānau, individuals and land comes from a number of government agencies and is spread across different record series. Few records contain whakapapa charts or trees, although Māori Land Court minute books may contain whakapapa, in either text or diagram form. Other departmental records also contain whakapapa for various iwi, hapū and whanau.

East Coast

You can find a series of genealogies relating to East Coast iwi, Waikato iwi, Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Hinga, Ngāti Hineuru, Ngāti Hauiti, Ohuake, Timahanga, Otanga and Ngāti Hine in our online collection: ACIH 16056 /18/28 - Parts 1-11.

Paper copies have been made of these records and are available at the Wellington office as reproductions, numbered 1734 to 1743.

Hawke’s Bay

The following maps/plans contain various whakapapa and are located within the Statutory Branch Registered Maps, Series 997.

  • Tarawera Block – tree of ownership, Parekaui Tekapau whakapapa, tracing, c1867 AAFV 997/84/ H25

  • Tarawera Block – tree of ownership, whakapapa, tracing, c1867 AAFV 997/84/ H26

  • Tarawera Block – tree of ownership, Tupurupuru whakapapa, tracing, c1867 AAFV 997/84/ H27

  • Tarawera Block – tree of ownership, Kurapoto whakapapa, tracing c1867 AAFV 997/84/ H28

  • Tarawera Block – investigation into title, Hineuru whakapapa, tracing c1867 AAFV 997/84/ H29

Te Wai Pounamu/South Island

South Island whakapapa records can be found in these two holdings:

  • The Schedule of Native Reserves at Te Wai Pounamu, c1868 includes several whakapapa tables towards the back of the volume AECW 18692/19/19

  • Māori Genealogies, South Island (no date) is a volume of genealogies, indexed by name ACIH 16056/17/27.

Other whakapapa records

More whakapapa records can be found in the following holdings:

Whakapapa in letters and confiscation papers

You can also find whakapapa information in correspondence, and evidence in confiscation papers formerly held by Land Information New Zealand. The following series might be helpful:

Whāngai and Māori adoptions

Māori ‘adoptions’, or whāngai, were the custom of sending children to other members of the hapū or whānau to be raised. The child was adopted informally in terms of tikanga Māori and brought up as the adopting parents' own child. Under the Native Health Act 1909 Māori could no longer use the whāngai system for adopting children. Under the provisions of the Native Land Act 1909 Part IX, all Māori adoptions had to be approved by the Māori Land Court. A tangle of restrictions surrounded Māori adoptions until 1955:

  • If both parents of the child were Māori, the adoption could be heard under the 1909 Native Land Act

  • if the adopting parents were Pākehā and the child Māori, the Infants Act applied a Māori and Pākehā could adopt a Māori child but the case would be heard in the Magistrates Court

  • Māori parents could not adopt Pākehā children.

Finding information on adoptions

Te Kooti Whenua Māori/Māori Land Court

Under the provisions of the Native Land Act 1909 Part IX, Te Kooti Whenua Māori/Māori Land Court was empowered to make adoption orders and these may be recorded in Māori Land Court minute books.

If a reference to an adoption is located in a Māori Land Court minute book, you may need to contact the relevant Māori Land Court district office where the adoption record is held. From 1963, all Māori adoptions hearings moved from the Māori Land Court to the Magistrates Courts.

Learn more about the Māori Land Court in our research guide.

Māori Affairs Department

Māori Affairs Department files contain some records relating to Māori adoptions. You can find adoption files in the records of the district and sub-offices of the Department of Māori Affairs. Access to these records is restricted. However, notifications of adoption were also published in the New Zealand Gazette from 1902 to 1956. Copies of the Gazette are held at the National Library.

Find the Gazette at the National Library.

Child Welfare Division

The Child Welfare Division of the Education Department also created one Māori adoption record entitled: Field Work – Other than State Wards – Maori Welfare – Adoptions 1923-1952 ACGB 8300/4/15/2

For permission to access restricted record lists or files please contact Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children:

Manager, Privacy Official Information Services Privacy Official Information Team Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children PO Box 546 Wellington 6011 Central email: Central telephone: +64 4 918-9230

Accessing adoption records

Access to adoption records is restricted and we only hold a small proportion of all adoption records. Most are held by the Department of Internal Affairs – Births, Deaths and Marriages. For access to adoption records we recommend contacting Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children:

Manager, Privacy Official Information Services Privacy Official Information Team Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children PO Box 546 Wellington 6011 Central email: Central telephone: +64 4 918-9230


Civil registration of marriages has only been compulsory for Māori since 1911, and births and deaths since 1913. Before then, church registers may be the only record of Māori births, deaths and marriages.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages branch of the Department of Internal Affairs holds all recorded registrations. For further information, copies of registrations/certificates, and the costs involved, contact:

Births, Deaths, Marriages and Citizenship PO Box 10-526 Wellington 6143 Free phone (in NZ): 0800 22 52 52 Phone (outside NZ): +64 4 474 8150 Email: Searches for specific people registrations, though not actual records, can be made at BDM Historical Records.

Birth registers

Birth registers are listed on our online search tool and you can find them through a search of the relevant court. A keyword search using 'birth register' and the area name may also bring up results. Restrictions may apply. Search birth registers in Collections search

Vaccination registers

Under the Vaccination Act 1863 every child (Māori and European) born in New Zealand was to be vaccinated within 6 months of birth. Local registrars recorded vaccination details or exemptions for children born in their districts.

Vaccination registers are arranged by number of entry in the register of births. They include the names of the child and parents, the child’s dates of birth and of vaccination, and the name of the medical practitioner. Most registers are indexed.

Vaccination registers by region

Auckland archive
Wellington archive
Dannevirke area
Christchurch and Dunedin archives




Civil registration of deaths has only been compulsory for Māori since 1913. Before then, church registers may be the only record of Māori deaths.

We hold some death registers but the most useful sources of information relating to deaths are coronial inquest and probate records.

Learn more about how to find personal identity information


We hold Notices of Intention to Marry, 1856 to 1956. These include many Māori, especially after 1911, when registration of Māori marriages became compulsory. Before 1911, church registers may be the only record of Māori marriages.

A card index for marriages up to 1881 is located in our Wellington Reading Room. For marriages after 1881, you will need to know the place and approximate date of marriage, because the volumes are organised chronologically in three-month blocks and geographically from north to south.

Census-Type Records

We do not hold official census records, most of which were destroyed. However, various lists of Māori and where they lived were gathered, especially in the 19th century.

These records contain unofficial census information from various areas:


  • Tauiwi, Hauraki-Coromandel area, 1871 AECW 18683/1/[40]

  • Māori Census records series ACIH 16056

  • Information collected to help identify entitlement to land 1881, actual census sheets included ACIH 16056/12/17

  • 1901, 1906 and 1911 – correspondence, but often detail about local work for the census ACIH 16056/13/18

Māori Affairs, Boxes 19 to 21

These boxes contain records relating to Māori land from 1848 to the late 19th century ACIH/16046/19/12b.

For example:

  • Return of ‘half-castes’ living within the Ngaitahu and Murihiku Blocks in 1848–1849 and 1853 ACIH/16046/19/12b - Part 2

  • Copy of list of ‘half-castes’ residing at the Neck, Stewart Island in June 1864 and Supplementary Return of ‘half-castes’ who have probably received land ACIH 16046/20/12d - Part 4 6a-21


Aparima Census, 1852 (copy) in Murihiku Block, Aparima Reserve – The Papers of Horomona Paatu, Special File No. 16 ACIH 16046 31/20a


Census of Māori and Moriori, 1864 (in te reo; compiled by Captain William Esdaile Thomas; arranged by district; gives names and hapū) ABGP 7532 W4900/1 and REPRO 1715.

Another census was compiled by Captain Thomas in 1867, and the returns published in A Report on the Chatham Islands by Mr Halse – AJHR, 1867, pp. 7–8.

Te Tairāwhiti/East Coast

East Coast District Tribal Register (indexed), 1878. Organised by iwi, then hapū and place. Gives name and gender, includes adults and children.

This register has been digitised. Where possible iwi, hapū and places have been listed on the record page ACIH 16056/16/26.


Nelson District Census – Statistical returns of the ‘Aboriginal Natives’ residing in the district of Nelson for the year ending December 31st, 1849 ACHY 8954/5/2

Te Wai Pounamu, Rakiura/South Island, Stewart Island

  • Census of ‘native’ population, 1868, in Schedule of Native Reserves in the South Island, etc., pp. 63-96 (South Island and Stewart Island, names organised by place) AECW 18692/19/19

  • South Island Census of Māori Landholders c1879

  • Accounts and Papers – Schedule of Accounts and Papers laid upon table – Crown Grants issued to middle island ‘half-castes’, 1882 AEBE 18507/200

  • Returns of ‘natives and half-castes’ in the South Island – those owning over 50 acres, those unprovided with land (Schedule F), those insufficiently provided with land (Schedule G), 1891 ACIH 16079/1/5

  • South Island landless Natives Claims Register, 1889–1917 ABWN 8923 W5278/88

  • South Island Landless Native – Alphabetical List of Owners, 1895 ABWN 8923 W5278/1

  • Native Land Register South Island Landless Natives, c1900 ABWN 8923 W5278/87

  • List of Awards to Landless Natives in the Middle Island, 1902–1930 (district, name, abode) ABWN 8923 W5278/66 - (221.1 & 221.2)

  • South Island Landless Natives, 1908 (includes many printed lists) ACGT 18190/1365


Return of Native population, Wairarapa, 1849. Lists iwi, marae, and 16 principal rangatira ACFP/8217/35/[108]/1849/186.

Wellington region

Tribal Census of Te Aro, 1842 in Despatches from the Principal Agent, Wellington, 1842 (list of males, females and children in the area) AAYZ 8971/2/2 - pp 192-200].

Census of the Native population in the district of Port Nicholson corrected up to the first of July 1842, in Edmund Halswell, Protector of Aborigines for the Southern District, to Colonial Secretary.

Organised by marae: Waiwhetu, Pitoni, Ngauranga, Kaiwharawhara, Pipitea, Kumutoto, Te Aro (Taranaki, Ngatiruanui) ACGO 8333 14/[14]/1842/1299.


Return of Native population, Whanganui River, 1851 (lists marae, iwi, hapū, principal rangatira, kaiako) ACFP 8217/45/[58/1851/284.

Tribal Registers, 1877-1878, from the Upper Whānganui and Whānganui Districts are arranged by iwi, hapū and residence (lists by name, gender, adults and children) AEDK 18743/2/3 & 3/4.

Māori Census (upper Whānganui River), c1874. Features handwritten lists 'return of natives' by kāinga and other papers, with list of names for Ngatiterangita, Ngatihaunuiapaparangi/Ngatihau, Ngapoutawa/Ngatipongia and Ngatituhaka/Te Opekotia (as written) AEDK 18743/1/2.

Court records

We hold records from courts around the country, covering a variety of topics from civil and criminal cases to bankruptcy and divorce. These records are held regionally in our four archives, except for coronial files which are all in Wellington. Access to court records varies, depending on the type of record.

The following types of court records may be particularly useful in whakapapa research.

Coroners' inquests

The records held in Wellington cover the whole country and date from the 1840s to 2000, although early records are incomplete and access to later records is restricted for 50 years.

Learn more about coroners’ reports in our identity research guides

Divorce records

Divorce registers and files sometimes include a surprising amount of whānau information. These are held regionally in our four archives.

Most divorce files are listed on in our Collections search tool. If a divorce is not listed online, you need to search the index to a divorce register to find a file number. You need to know where the divorce took place, and an approximate date is helpful.

Access to registers and their indexes is open. Access to files is restricted for 60 years from the date of file closure, apart from to the couple involved.

Find more information in our identity research guides

Estate records

Probate records contain the documentation required for the legal administration of a will and an estate after a person’s death. Many wills relating to Māori were sometimes probated through Te Kooti Whenua Maori/Māori Land Court and Te Tumu Paeroa/Māori Trustee.

For more information, see our identity guides

Succession order registers

Native and Māori Succession Order Registers are another possible source of information. From the Inland Revenue Department, these record payment of succession duties by successors or inheritors after a death.

The registers are indexed by the name of the deceased. They often contain the following details:

  • name of the deceased

  • names of successors, and usually where the property was situated

  • value of succession

  • duty assessed

  • date of payment

  • Māori Land Court memo reference.

The volumes include name indexes at the front, except for two volumes (1920-1926) for which separate indexes have been created AAEC 658/1 & 2.

Access to pre-1921 registers is open. However, access to registers from 1921 onward is restricted under the Inland Revenue Act 1974, section 13.

Wellington holds a national set of Native Succession Registers, 1911–1964 AAEC 659/1-20 Auckland hold the Registers of (Maori) Succession Orders 1887–1964 BBCB 4243

Testamentary registers

Under the Stamp Act 1875 every administrator of a will was required to file a statement, with either the District Commissioner of Stamps or Deputy Commissioner of Stamps, giving details of all personal property which belonged to the deceased at the time of their death.

After duty was paid the commissioner would issue the grant of administration. This would be forwarded by the registrar of the district Supreme Court, to whoever was entitled to receive it.

Access to pre-1921 registers are open. However, any registers that include entries from 1921 onwards are fully restricted. Copying is prohibited.


The Inland Revenue office in Gisborne holds the Gisborne Testamentary Registers

  • Testamentary Registers (Māori) - Native succession order registers, 1911–1956 CATS CH291/22-25

  • Nelson District Duty 1867–1969 AAEC W4006

  • Wellington District 1876–1962 AAEC 611

  • New Plymouth District 1876–1916 AAEC 18268

  • Taranaki 1867–1881 AAEC 18269

  • Napier/Hawkes Bay District 1876–1922 AAEC 6488

Wellington holds duplicate testamentary registers for the rest of New Zealand, 1876 to 1962 AAEC 638

Māori/native schools

In 1880 the Department of Native Affairs transferred the control of Māori education to the Education Department. That department administered separate native/Māori schools up to 1969 when many were abolished, and the rest transferred to Education Board control.

Records of approximately 450 native/Māori schools are held in our Auckland archive. Most records come from the Northern Regional Office of the Department of Education. A few schools transferred records directly.

The records include:

The Hawke’s Bay Education Board archives, also held in Auckland, contain registers of admissions for Waiomatatini (Māori) School YCAK 1365/1a-d.

19th Century Correspondence

Nineteenth-century correspondence captured the day-to-day business of government. Our correspondence records include letters, field reports, and despatches to and from departments.


People wrote to government for various reasons. A lot of the information in these records concerns their business with the Crown, but there are also many letters which contain personal information.

Topics include:

  • reports on disturbances between Māori and European settlers

  • protests and petitions by Māori over land sales

  • gaol reports, and petitions to be released from gaol

  • requests for assistance from the Colonial Secretary.

Series 8164 features letters from Māori to Donald McLean, the Agent for the General Government, Hawke's Bay.

Not all correspondence has been listed in our Collections search and letters in te reo are often only listed to box level. Registers and indexes can be used to search for these.

Registers and indexes

Up until around 1913, most government departments recorded inward correspondence in registers and indexes. Each inward letter was entered in a register and given a register number. Indexes are organised by name, while registers are organised by register number in date order and contain slightly more information. Both indexes and registers can be used to locate the correspondence files of a particular department.

The archives of the Māori Affairs Department, for example, contain a series of indexes and a series of registers, both of which refer to correspondence files:

Topics include:

Unfortunately, much of the Māori Affairs inward correspondence for the later 19th century were either badly damaged or destroyed, along with other records, in the Hope Gibbons building fire in August 1952.

The pre-1913 indexes and registers still exist, recording the topics of missing letters. Like those for most government departments, they are available for public use in our Register Room in Wellington.

Other registers of interest

Register of Chiefs, dated about 1865. Entries give name, iwi, age and place of residence as well as a Pākehā assessment of the chief’s character and behaviour. Organised by district, it covers most of the North Island and Nelson ACIH 16056/15/25.


In Wellington we hold many photographic images, over 300,000 from the National Publicity Studios alone. These images are held in various formats and can be difficult to access. Photographs held at the Wellington Archive include:

  • National Publicity Studios – many digitised and available in our Collections search tool AAQT

  • patents and copyrights, including Māori portraits taken by Elizabeth Pulman AEGA

  • railway photographs AAVK and ABIN

  • forestry photographs AAQA

  • agriculture photographs AAFZ

  • war photographs

  • police and prison photographs

For more detailed information about our photograph holdings and how to access them please see our photography guide.


Permission to publish, which is free, is needed before any image sourced from us is published. Please apply for permission, providing the full archives reference and description of the file, and stating the title and format of the publication, website or documentary.

Apply for permission


Restrictions apply to many records. Negatives and small contact prints are held in secure, temperature-controlled stack areas. Access to them is through our preservation team.

Please organise access by first contacting us.

Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa/New Zealand Wars

Records relating to the Māori War/New Zealand Wars period are generally held within the Army Department series (AAYS).

Other records can be found from various government agencies, such as:

  • series 8661 – concerned with the formulation and maintenance of the Colonial Defence Force, the Military Settlers and other colonial units AAYS 8661

  • series 8660 – papers relate to matters arising from that period. AAYS 8660

  • commission on compensation claims arising from the Māori Wars, Auckland 1865 ACGO 8409 and ACIH 8602.

New Zealand War Medal

The New Zealand War Medal was awarded to most British soldiers who served in New Zealand in the 1840s and 1860s. It was only awarded to colonial troops, including Māori, who could prove they had come under enemy fire. Because an application was required, many files contain character references and information about the battles the person fought in.

At the Wellington archive, we hold an alphabetical New Zealand War Medal card index for soldiers who applied for or were awarded the medal. These cards have been listed by name and can be found using our Collections search tool.

The New Zealand War Medal Card Index in the Wellington Reading Room may also note if a person is mentioned in Series 8638: Inwards letters and registered files of the Colonial Defence Office, the Militia and Volunteers, and the Defence Office. AAYS 8638

For more information, see our research guide Finding Māori in the New Zealand Wars.

Rolls and returns

We hold the following records relating to payment of the Māori Contingent 1866.

  • A correspondence file which includes a return of kūpapa claiming pay for service during the late expeditions under Major General Chute AAYS 8638 CD1866/2815

  • Acquittance roll of Wairoa and Mohaka Natives Who Took Part in the Waikare Expedition April 1869. Provides details of name, period of service and total amount paid AAYS 8660/7/ 28/19

  • Maori War Pension Card Index ABNU 6826.

Another list that may be of use is the ‘Return of ill rebel natives who have subscribed to declaration of allegiance and delivered up arms from 5 February 1864–31 May 1864’, published in the New Zealand Gazette, 15 June 1864, pp.267–270.

Copies of the Gazette are held at the National Library.

Maori prisoners

The following records relate to Māori Prisoners of War.

  • Papers Relating to Māori Prisoners of War and their Guards on the Chatham Islands, 1866–1869 AAAL 27198

  • Return of Maori Prisoners c1864. A list of Māori prisoners taken at Rangiriri, Rangiaowhia, Ōrākau and elsewhere, aboard the Hulk ‘Marion’. Provides name of individual, tribe and remarks AAYS 8661/71/5006

  • Medical Reports on Troops Engaged in the Māori Wars and on Māori Prisoners of War November 1863 to March 1864. Weekly returns of sick and wounded Māori prisoners aboard the ‘Marion’ AAYS 8661/71/5009

  • List of Prisoners Taken at Rangiriri 1863. Organised by iwi ACIH 16036 1863/383 View this list on Flickr

Anglo-Boer War 1899 to 1902

We only hold a few records of New Zealand’s involvement in this war. Material relating to Māori is likely to be within the individual personnel files and general files. For more information, see our war research guide.

Personnel service files

Māori were originally excluded from serving in the South African war, although some did volunteer. They can be difficult to trace as many Māori used English names or anglicised versions of their own name.

Surviving individual personnel files from the Anglo-Boer War are held at our Wellington archive and are also digitised for viewing online. All personnel files are listed by a person’s name on our Collections search tool.

Individual personnel files cover the period of 1898 to 1920. We hold personnel files after 1920 only if:

  • the person also served in WWI AABK 18805

  • the person was in the 28 (Māori) Battalion (WW2) and had a ‘duplicate’ file brought to us AABK 18805.

Access to these files is restricted. His other file will still be with the NZDF Archive. The records are erratic, incomplete, and include very little information about actual service.

Te Pakanga Tuatahi/World War One

Personnel service files

World War One (WW1) personnel files not only include details of service, but also name and address of next of kin. WW1 records include members of the Pioneer Battalion. You can view most WW1 individual army personnel files online by searching by name or personnel number in our Collections search tool or by using the Archives New Zealand filter on Digital NZ.

Individual personnel files cover the period of 1898 to 1920.

We hold personnel files after 1920 only if:

  • the person also served in WWI AABK 18805

  • the person was in the 28th Māori Battalion (WW2) and had a duplicate file brought to us AABK 18805. Access to these files is restricted. His other file will still be with the NZDF archive.

We hold registration and embarkation rolls for the Māori Contingent. These records provide details such as regimental number, rank, company, occupation, religion, origin, next-of-kin and some remarks about fitness or action.

Diaries, routine orders and unit records

These feature records of day-to-day activities of the Māori Contingent. The following records are not listed online and you will need to use the war archive paper finding aids to place a manual order.

  • Unit Diaries ACID 18432 WA97/1

  • Routine Orders ACID 18432 WA97/2

  • Unit Records ACID 18432 WA97/3

  • Nominal Roll 1914–1916 ACID 18432 3/1

  • Registration Roll 1914–1915 ACID 18432 WA97/3/16

  • Nominal Rolls 1915 ACID 18432 WA97/3/17

Other rolls and lists

Register of Māori 1918

This register, compiled under the Military Services Act 1916, lists the name and occupation of all Māori men eligible for military service. The following lists are organised by district with an index at the end of the volume ACID 18432/1.

  • Māori Contingent Embarkation Rolls 1914–1918

  • Māori Affairs file giving name, occupation and next-of-kin ACIH 16036/376/ 19/1/473

  • Māori Contingents and Reinforcements, 1914–1918 ACIH 16069/ 10h

  • Māori Pioneer Battalion – casualties, decorations and awards, 1919–1928 AAYS 8694/18/ 27/161

  • Other records of the Māori (Pioneer) Battalion may be found under the Māori Affairs and Army Departments.

Returned Servicemen

The Māori Affairs Department archives contain a number of files relating to returned servicemen. These include:

  • Survey, Maori Returned Servicemen 1914–1918. Information includes regimental number, name, address, age, form of assistance applied for, benefits received and additional remarks ACIH 16036 W2459/ 19/1/387.

  • Censuses of Surviving Returned Soldiers of WW1 1958-1974 [ACIH 16036/ 70/1/4 - parts 1, 2 & 3]

  • Maori Soldiers’ Fund – Applications for Assistance, 1953–1962

  • Letters from Māori welfare officers and individuals regarding grants from the fund for education, housing etc ACIH 16036/ 70/2, parts 1–7.

Te Pakanga Tuarua/World War Two

Personnel service files

Our individual personnel files cover the period from 1898 to 1920.

We hold personnel files after 1920 only if:

  • the person also served in WWI AABK 18805

  • the person was in the 28th (Māori) Battalion and had a duplicate file brought to us AABK 18805. Access to these files is restricted. His other file will be with the NZDF Archive.

World War Two (WW2) records, including Māori Battalion records, are held by the New Zealand Defence Force:

New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives Private Bag 905 Upper Hutt Wellington 5140 Telephone: +64 4 527 5270 Email: Website: NZ Defence Force

We hold a number of records relating to the 28th (Māori) Battalion, within the WW2 archives. These and other WW2 records can be accessed by subject through the War History Branch card index in our Wellington Register Room.

Other records relating to the 28th (Māori) Battalion and the Māori contingent can be found in the archives of a number of different government agencies, including the Māori Affairs Department, Army Department, External Affairs Department, Army Department and Ministry of Defence.

These cover a variety of topics.

Second World War rehabilitation files

Servicemen rehabilitation files detail how individual servicemen returned to civilian life after their military service and are a great source for family information AADK 20203.

These files are not automatically open due to privacy reasons. Researchers must first check if they need to gain permission to see the files.

Find more information in our World War Two research guide.


We hold film material relating to Māori and WW2, particularly the commemoration and rehabilitation of soldiers.

Reference copies of the following films can be viewed in the Wellington Reading Room or on our YouTube channel:

  • Ruatoria – Ceremony in Honour of Māori VC. Weekly Review No. 112, 1943 RV 454

  • Maori Battalion Returns. Weekly Review No.232, 1946 RV 528

  • Wairoa – Maori Battalion rehab farm trainees. Weekly Review No.402, 1949 RV 698

  • What’s Cooking in Korea – depicts Māori soldiers cooking a Christmas hāngi. New Zealand Mirror No.15, 1953 RV 137.


The record ‘Maori in the armed forces’ includes images of the Māori Battalion in Vietnam and Singapore AAMK W3495 Box 23 f-q.

Restrictions relate to copyright. You may view images, but not copy or publish them without permission.

After World War Two

Some records are held for New Zealand Forces stationed in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

For more information about these records see our war guides.

Work and employment

We hold good collections of service schedules (cards) for some government departments.

Examples of work and employment records are below, but for more information and detailed listings please see our employment research guide.

Public service lists

There are many different lists of public service employees in New Zealand, and the majority have been published in some form.

There are a few earlier lists, especially from the Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives (AJHR). The annual lists date from 1913 to 1988 and copies are held in the Wellington Reading Room.

Tips for searching the Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives (AJHR)

The lists are found first under the code D 1866–1870, under G 1871–1872, and under H 1873–1875 and later. Please note that the number following the letter code varies.

For most years (1866–1875), the lists are alphabetical, except for lists of Māori in the public service which are roughly north to south.

You can view editions up to the 1950s online at the National Library’s Papers Past.

Visit Papers Past to find editions of the Appendices

Native/Māori Affairs

We hold a number of personnel files for Māori Affairs Department/Iwi Transition Agency employees. Many of these are listed by name on our Collections search tool.

They include:

  • ‘Native’ Interpreters

  • Persons employed in the administration of Native Affairs

  • Māori Affairs, registers of service of members

  • Māori Affairs, personnel files (including senior officials and Māori Land Court judges)

  • Schedule Classification Cards c1914 – 1982 – Iwi Transition Agency and Ministry of Māori Affairs.


Access to Māori Affairs personnel records and records that contain information about an individual may be restricted. Please check the restriction status in the record listings.

For permission to access restricted records, researchers will need to apply to:

The Chief Executive Te Puni Kōkiri / Ministry of Māori Development PO Box 3943 WELLINGTON 6140 Telephone: +64 4 819 6000 Email:

Māori Land Court

Appointments in the court and an index to assessors can be found in the records of Māori Affairs ACIH Series 16051

The register of appointments in the Native Land Courts 1874–1890 includes judges, officers, assessors, interpreters and trust commissioners, indexed ACIH 16058/3/4

Māori Wardens, Waikato – Maniapoto, Register 1952–1989 is held in our Auckland archive BBCZ 4407 A96520/d/2.