Whakapapa - a guide to resources held in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre


Tena koutou katoa
Ngā mihi tēnei ki a koutou

The aim of this booklet is to help you find information about your Whakapapa.

It is intended as a starting point to encourage you on your way, but your journey will eventually take you far outside this Library.

Ka pakeke te haere, kaua e hemo - when things are difficult, don't give up.

Whakapapa and Tribal Histories - An Introduction

Māori families trace their descent through their ancestors back to their founding waka. This knowledge was traditionally passed on by one generation to the next under strict rules of tapu. It established a person's place and rights in traditional Māori society. People with Māori forbears, interested in tracing their whānau and iwi history, should first consult with their whānau and the elders of their tribe.

Locating your whakapapa and tribal history outside this traditional source is possible through written records available in library, museum, and archive collections. This guide will help you locate information from published whakapapa and contemporary records. You may find it helpful to also use our Family History guide.

Rangi and Papa
Rangi and Papa