Te Ara in Māori means ‘the pathway’. Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand offers many pathways to understanding New Zealand. Short essays and multimedia combine to present our heritage in an exciting and entertaining way.
Te Ara is always being developed and enhanced. When complete, it will be a comprehensive guide to New Zealand’s people, natural environment, history, culture, economy, institutions and society.
It’s also a gateway into cultural information from other institutions, with links to the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums around the country.
An important feature of Te Ara is its Māori content. The Māori perspective is presented prominently and items with substantial Māori content are available in te reo.
Find out about the people who have helped shape our country, in the online Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (DNZB). There are over 3000 biographies that were originally published in the printed Dictionary of New Zealand Biography between 1990 and 2000, and in the parallel Māori language series Nga Tangata Taumata Rau. In 2011, we released an e-book version of Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau, 1769-1960 which contains the Māori language biographies from all published volumes to date.
The DNZB does not include living people. If you’re looking for someone but can’t find them in the DNZB you could try the biographical database that was created when the dictionary was set up.
If you have any photos of profiled people, we’d love to see them – contact us.
Te Ara is a collaborative resource and we welcome your contributions on any topic on the site. Find out how to contribute to Te Ara in the ‘connect with us online’ section.