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.
The latest theme ‘Creative and Intellectual Life’, launched in October 2014 marked the successful completion of the first build of Te Ara.
Te Ara is 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.
You can access the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand and the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography within Te Ara.
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. In 2013, we published some of the biographies as Quick Reads which offers you a new way to experience some of New Zealand's best non-fiction writing. Download our eBooks and take them away to read when it suits you best.