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Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Discover Te Ara, the comprehensive guide to Aotearoa New Zealand’s peoples, natural environment, history, culture, economy, institutions and society.

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement Stories

Explore our Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement Stories website, the home for a reo rua (bilingual) digital storytelling programme presented by iwi and Manatū Taonga. These stories aim to increase our understanding of our past by exploring Treaty settlements and their enduring impact, helping New Zealanders move forward together.

Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement stories

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Delve into the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Ngā Tangata Taumata Rau, which provides the life stories of more than 3000 people who shaped our culture and history, from the 17th to the 21st centuries. It includes more than 500 biographies in te reo Māori.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography


Learn more about the people, places and events that have shaped the history of Aotearoa New Zealand on our NZHistory website. Explore databases, featuring those who signed the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition, the Treaty of Waitangi and He Whakaputanga — the Declaration of Independence, and a memorials register with information about 1000 memorials around the country. 


Vietnam War

This website is the hub for memories of New Zealand and the Vietnam War – a digital history archive where veterans, their families and the wider community can contribute memories and memorabilia.

Vietnam War

28th Māori Battalion

This website is dedicated to the men who served with New Zealand’s 28th (Māori) Battalion during the Second World War.  It also remembers the Māori and Pacific Island men who served in the First World War. Discover their fascinating stories of spirit and adventure, courage and camaraderie, victory and tragedy.

28th Māori Battalion 

Quake stories

The earthquakes that struck Canterbury in 2010 and 2011 are among the most significant events in New Zealand history. was an online place to share stories of the Christchurch earthquakes and subsequent New Zealand earthquakes. In 2021, the stories from the QuakeStories site were transferred to the University of Canterbury’s QuakeStudies website for long-term archiving.

If you have an earthquake story to share, email [email protected]  

QuakeStories (QuakeStudies, University of Canterbury)

Our podcasts

Listen to our extensive library of podcasts showcasing New Zealand’s diverse histories. These are available to download from our Podbean website, on Spotify, or your favourite podcast app (just search for ‘New Zealand History’).

New Zealand history podcasts (Podbean)

New Zealand history podcasts (Spotify)

Head (digitally) inside 25 unique New Zealand bubbles created during the COVID-19 lockdowns in the podcast Kei Roto i te Miru — Inside the Bubble, produced in partnership with Auckland Libraries.

Kei Roto i te Miru — Inside the Bubble (Radio NZ) 

Te Rauparaha: Kei Wareware project

This five-part podcast series tells the story of the life and times of Ngāti Toa leader Te Rauparaha, a compelling figure in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our books

Find a list of books our historians have written, from the history of New Zealand’s state agencies to the country’s involvement in military conflicts.

Recent publications can be purchased from bookshops. For older publications, contact your local library for help.

History publications 1981 – 2022


New Zealand's Foreign Service : a history, Ian McGibbon (Massey University Press)


Today in New Zealand history, Neill Atkinson, David Green, Gareth Phipps and Steve Watters, updated edition (Exisle)


Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori in the First World War, Monty Soutar (Bateman Books)

Ake Ake Kia Kaha E! Forever Brave!: B Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945, Wira Gardiner (Bateman Books)


Today in New Zealand history, Neill Atkinson, David Green, Gareth Phipps and Steve Watters (Exisle)


New Zealand's Western Front campaign, Ian McGibbon (David Bateman)


The Penguin Book of New Zealand War Writing, Gavin McLean and Harry Ricketts (Penguin)

Remembering Christchurch: voices from decades past, Alison Parr (Penguin)

The Western Front: a guide to New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials, Ian McGibbon (Penguin)

New Zealand's First World War heritage, Imelda Bargas and Tim Shoebridge (Exisle)


Nga tama toa = he toto heke, he Tipare Here ki te ūkaipo: Kamupene C, Ope Taua (Maori) 28 1939-1945: i tuhia tenei pukapua i te reo Maori, Monty Soutar (David Bateman)

Gallipoli: a guide to New Zealand battlefields and memorials, Ian McGibbon (Penguin)

No front line: inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War, Claire Hall (Penguin)

Facing the Front: New Zealand's Enduring First World War, Gavin McLean (New Zealand Portrait Gallery)


New Zealand and the First World War 1914-1919, Damien Fenton (Penguin).

The white ships: New Zealand’s First World War hospital ships, Gavin McLean (New Zealand Ship & Marine Society)

The war that never ended: New Zealand veterans remember Korea / as told to Pip Desmond (Penguin)


Social Developments - an organisational history of the Ministry of Social Development and its predecessors, 1860 - 2011, Tim Garlick (Ministry for Social Development). View a full-text copy as a pdf copy  (18.95MB) on MSD's website.

Featherston Military Training Camp and the First World War, Tim Shoebridge (Ministry for Culture and Heritage).  First published in 2011 as an online edition only, printed in 2012. 
Digitised version of Featherston Militry Training camp and the First World War (NZHistory) .

The Occupiers: New Zealand veterans remember post-war Japan, Alison Parr (Penguin)

Fighting spirit: 75 years of the RNZAF, Margaret McClure (Random House)


Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau, 1769-1960. E-book containing the Māori language biographies from all published volumes of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography


Te Taiao: Māori and the natural world / Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)

New Zealand's Vietnam War: a history of combat, commitment and controversy, Ian McGibbon (Exisle)

Battlefields of the New Zealand Wars: a visitor's guide, David Green (Penguin)

Quarantine!: protecting New Zealand at the border, Gavin McLean and Tim Shoebridge (Otago University Press)

Home: Civilian New Zealanders Remember the Second World War, Alison Parr (Penguin)


La Batalla del Rio de la Plata: la historia Neocelandesa, Ian McGibbon (Ministry for Culture and Heritage) 

The Cabinet makers: New Zealand's Prime Ministers, Gavin McLean (New Zealand Portrait Gallery)

National War Memorial & Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, Tim Shoebridge (Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

New Zealanders and the sea / Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)

The Penguin Book of New Zealanders at War, Gavin McLean, Ian McGibbon and Kynan Gentry (eds) (Penguin Books)

The Watchdog: New Zealand's Audit Office 1840 to 2008, David Green and John Singleton (Otago University Press)


The Gunners: A History of New Zealand Artillery, Alan Henderson, David Green and Peter Cooke (Raupo)

Little Histories: Reflections on the Keeping of New Zealand's Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Megan Hutching (Department of Internal Affairs).  View a full-text copy of Little Histories (DIA).

Maori tribes of New Zealand / Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)

Nga tama toa: the price of citizenship ; C Company 28 (Maori Battalion) 1939-1945, Monty Soutar (David Bateman)

Parliament's library - 150 years, John Martin (Steele Roberts/Dunmore)

Settlers: New Zealand immigrants from England, Ireland and Scotland 1840–1945, Jock Phillips and Terry Hearn (Auckland University Press)  


How to Do Local History, Gavin McLean (Otago University Press)

Last Line of Defence: New Zealanders Remember the War at Home, Megan Hutching (ed.) (HarperCollins)

Life on the edge: New Zealand’s natural hazards and disasters / Te Ara  - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)

Trainland: How Railways Made New Zealand, Neill Atkinson (Random House)


Against the Rising Sun: New Zealanders Remember the Pacific War, Megan Hutching (ed.) (HarperCollins)

The Big Show: New Zealanders, D-Day and the War in Europe, Alison Parr  (Auckland University Press)

The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General, Gavin McLean (Otago University Press)

Innovation and Independence: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand 1973-2002, John Singleton et al  (Auckland University Press)

Māori peoples of New Zealand: ngā iwi o Aotearoa /  Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)

Wellington: Biography of a City, Redmer Yska (Reed Publishing)

Settler and migrant peoples of New Zealand / Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (David Bateman)


The Desert Road: New Zealanders Remember the North African Campaign, Megan Hutching (ed.) (Harper Collins)

Frontier of Dreams: The Story of New Zealand, Bronwyn Dalley & Gavin McLean (eds) (Hodder Moa)

Gallipoli: A Guide to New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials, Ian McGibbon (Reed Publishing)

Hell or High Water: New Zealand Merchant Seafarers Remember the War, Neill Atkinson (ed.) (Harper Collins).

More Than Law and Order: Policing a Changing Society, 1945-92, Susan Butterworth (Otago University Press)

New Zealand and the Vietnam War: Politics and Diplomacy, Roberto Rabel  (Auckland University Press)

We Call it Home: A History of State Housing in New Zealand, Ben Schrader (Reed Publishing)


A Carved Cloak for Tahu, Mere Whaanga  (Auckland University Press)

A Fair Sort of Battering: New Zealanders Remember the Italian Campaign, Megan Hutching (ed.) (Harper Collins)

The House: New Zealand's House of Representatives 1854 - 2004, John E. Martin (Dunmore Press)

New Zealand and the Second World War: The People, the Battles and the Legacy, Ian McGibbon (Hodder Moa Beckett)

Our Islands, Ourselves: A History of Conservation in New Zealand, David Young (University of Otago Press)

Putea Whakairo: Maori and the Written Word, Bradford Haami (Huia Publishers)

The Wonder Country: Making New Zealand Tourism, Margaret McClure (Auckland University Press)


Adventures in Democracy: A History of the Vote in New Zealand, Neill Atkinson (University of Otago Press)

From Emergency to Confrontation: The New Zealand Armed Forces in Malaya and Borneo 1949-66, Chris Pugsley (Oxford University Press)

New Zealand: Opening to the World, 1930s - 1990s, Compiled by Steve Watters (David Bateman)

Treasury: The New Zealand Treasury, 1840 - 2000, Malcolm McKinnon (Auckland University Press)


'A Fair and Just Solution'? : A History of the Integration of Private Schools in New Zealand, Rory Sweetman (Dunmore Press)

Inside Stories: New Zealand Prisoners of War Remember, Megan Hutching (ed.)  (Harper Collins)

Kiwi Sappers: The Corps of the Royal New Zealand Engineers' Century of Service, Ian McGibbon (Reed Publishing)

Learning for Life: The origins of Auckland University of Technology 1895 - 2000, Louise Shaw (Auckland University of Technology)

Rewarding Service: A History of the Government Superannuation Fund, Neill Atkinson (University of Otago Press)

Statistics Count: An Illustrated History of Statistics New Zealand, David Green (Statistics New Zealand)


New Zealand: An Emerging Identity, 1870s - 1930s, Compiled by Steve Watters (David Bateman)

New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials of the Western Front, Ian McGibbon (Oxford University Press)

'A Unique Sort of Battle': New Zealanders Remember Crete, Megan Hutching (ed.) (Harper Collins)

Wellington Polytechnic 1962 to 1999: A History, Ian Dougherty (Massey University)


Breadwinning: New Zealand Women and the State, Melanie Nolan  (Canterbury University Press)

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume 5, 1941 - 1960, Claudia Orange (ed.) (Auckland University Press/Department of Internal Affairs)

Living in the Twentieth Century: New Zealand History in Photographs, 1900 - 1980, Bronwyn Dalley (Bridget Williams Books/Craig Potton Publishing)

Town and Country: The National Associations and Insurance Companies of Local Government in New Zealand, Bryan Gilling and Alan Henderson (Local Government New Zealand)

New Zealand: The Making of a Colony, 1815 - 1870, Compiled by Steve Watters (David Bateman)

Nga Tangata Taumata Rau Volume 5, 1941 - 1960, (Auckland University Press/Department of Internal Affairs

OxfordCompanion to New Zealand Military History, Ian McGibbon (ed.) (Oxford University Press)


Bricklayers and Mortarboards: A History of New Zealand Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology, Ian Dougherty (Dunmore Press)

Japan and New Zealand: 150 Years, Roger Peren (NZ Centre for Japanese Studies)

Long Journey for Sevenpence: An Oral History of Assisted Immigration to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, 1947-1975, Megan Hutching (Victoria University Press)

Maori Health and Government Policy 1840-1940, Derek A. Dow (Victoria University Press)

A policeman's paradise? : policing a stable society 1918-1945 , Graeme Dunstall (Dunmore Press)

People, Politics and Power Stations: Electric Power Generation in New Zealand 1880-1998, John E. Martin (ed.) (Electricity Corporation of New Zealand)

To Fight For The Empire: An Illustrated History of New Zealand and the South African War, 1899-1902, John Crawford with Ellen Ellis (Reed Publishing)

Unofficial Channels: Letters Between Alister McIntosh and Foss Shanahan, George Laking and Frank Corner 1946-1966, Ian McGibbon (ed.) (Victoria University Press)


A Civilised Community: A History of Social Security in New Zealand 1898-1998, Margaret McClure (Auckland University Press)

DSIR: Making Science Work for New Zealand, Ross Galbreath (Victoria University Press)

Family Matters: Child Welfare in Twentieth century New Zealand, Bronwyn Dalley (Auckland University Press)

For Whom the Bells Toll: A History of the National War Memorial, Chris Maclean (Heritage Group, Department of Internal Affairs)

Guide to Style, David Green (Historical Branch). Information from this guide is available on NZHistory's website.

New Zealanders By Choice, Megan Hutching (Identity Services, Department of Internal Affairs)

The Ombudsman in New Zealand, Bryan Gilling (Dunmore Press)

The Pacific Forum Line: A Commitment to Regional Shipping, Tony Nightingale (Clerestory Press)

Reforming Education: The New Zealand Experience 1984-1996, Graham and Susan Butterworth (Dunmore Press/Ministry of Education)


Fortuitous Legacy: The Masterton Trust Lands Trust, 1872-1997, Alan Henderson (Masterton Trust Lands Trust)

Ham Shacks, Brass Pounders & Rag Chewers: A History of Amateur Radio in New Zealand, Ian Dougherty (New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters)

Jayforce: New Zealand and the Military Occupation of Japan 1945-48, Laurie Brocklebank (Oxford University Press)

The Mother of All Departments: The History of the Department of Internal Affairs, Michael Bassett (Auckland University Press)

New Zealand Historical Atlas: Visualising New Zealand / Ko Papatuanuku e Takoto Nei, Malcolm McKinnon (ed.) (David Bateman)

Nga Korero a Pita Kapiti/The Teachings of Pita Kapiti, Anaru Reedy (Canterbury University Press)


Government Valuers: Valuation New Zealand 1896-1996, Bryan Gilling (Valuation New Zealand)

Holding the Balance: A History of New Zealand's Department of Labour 1891-1995, John E. Martin (Canterbury University Press)

Links: A History of Transport and New Zealand Society, James Watson (GP Publications)

New Zealand and the Korean War, vol. 2: Combat Operations, Ian McGibbon (Oxford University Press)


Competition & Co-operation: The Insurance Council and the General Insurance Industry in New Zealand 1895-1995, Alan Henderson (Insurance Council)

The History of Policing in New Zealand, vol. 3, The Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove: The Modernisation of Policing in New Zealand, 1886-1917, Richard S. Hill  (Dunmore Press)

Safeguarding the Public Health: A History of the New Zealand Department of Health, Derek Dow (Victoria University Press)

The Turnbull: A Library and Its World, Rachel Barrowman  (Auckland University Press)


Building the New Zealand Dream, Gael Ferguson (Dunmore Press)

Children's Health, The Nation's Wealth: A History of Children's Health Camps, Margaret Tennant (Bridget Williams Books)

Just Women: Women in the Corrections Operations Group of the Department of Justice, Megan Hutching (Historical Branch)

Kati Au i Konei: A Collection of Songs from Ngati Toarangatira and Ngati Raukawa, Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal (Huia Publishers)

Land and Water: Water and Soil Conservation and Central Government in New Zealand 1941-1988, Michael Roche (Historical Branch)

On a Roll: A History of Gambling and Lotteries in New Zealand, David Grant (Victoria University Press)


Benefiting Women: Income Support for Women, 1893-1993, Ann Beaglehole (Social Policy Agency, Department of Social Welfare)

Getting On, Anne Else (Department of Commerce)

Notable Women in New Zealand Health: Te Hauora Ki Aotearoa, Ona Wahine Rongonui, Patricia Sargison (Longman Paul)

Royal Summer: The Visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to New Zealand 1953-54, Jock Phillips (Daphne Brasell Associates)

Talking History: A Short Guide to Oral History, Megan Hutching (Bridget Williams Books)

The 'Taxwoman': 101 Years of Women Working in the Inland Revenue Department 1892-1993, Fiona McKergow (Inland Revenue Department)

Undiplomatic Dialogue: Letters between Carl Berendsen and Alister McIntosh, 1943-1952, Ian McGibbon (ed.) (Auckland University Press)

Women of Value: A History of Women in the Valuation Department and Valuation New Zealand 1896-1993, Bronwyn Dalley (Valuation New Zealand)

Women Together: A History of Women's Organisations in New Zealand/Nga Ropu Wahine o te Motu, Anne Else (ed.) (Daphne Brasell Associates). View digitised version: Women together (NZHistory).

Women and Welfare Work 1893-1993, Penny Ehrhardt with Ann Beaglehole (Department of Social Welfare)

Women's History: A Short Guide to Researching and Writing Women's History in New Zealand, Bronwyn Labrum (Bridget Williams Books)

Working for Wildlife: A History of the New Zealand Wildlife Service, Ross Galbreath (Bridget Williams Books)


Brief Encounter: American Forces and the New Zealand People 1942-1945, Jock Phillips with Ellen Ellis (Historical Branch)

Local History: A Short Guide to Researching, Writing and Publishing a Local History, Gavin McLean (Bridget Williams Books)

New Zealand and the Korean War, vol. 1: Politics and Diplomacy, Ian McGibbon (Oxford University Press)

Te Haurapa: An Introduction to Researching Tribal Histories and Traditions, Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal (Bridget Williams Books)

White Collars and Gumboots: A History of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1892-1992, Tony Nightingale (Dunmore Press)


Glimpses of the Past: The First Fifty Years of the Department of Labour, John E. Martin (Department of Labour)

The Path to Gallipoli: Defending New Zealand 1840-1915, Ian McGibbon (GP Books)

People, Politics and Power Stations: Electric Power Generation in New Zealand 1880-1990, John E. Martin (ed.) (Bridget Williams Books/Electricity Corporation of New Zealand)


Civil Defence in New Zealand: A Short History (Ministry of Civil Defence)

The Quest for Efficiency: The Origins of the State Services Commission, Alan Henderson (States Services Commission)

The Sorrow and the Pride: New Zealand War Memorials, Chris Maclean and Jock Phillips (GP Books)

A Woman of Good Character: Single Women as Immigrant Settlers in Nineteenth century New Zealand, Charlotte Macdonald (Allen and Unwin)


The History of Policing in New Zealand, vol. 2, The Colonial Frontier Tamed: New Zealand Policing in Transition, 1867-1886, Richard S. Hill (GP Books)

Paupers and Providers: Charitable Aid in New Zealand, Margaret Tennant (Allen and Unwin)


Black November: The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in New Zealand, Geoffrey Rice (Allen and Unwin)

A Small Price to Pay: Refugees from Hitler in New Zealand, 1936-46, Ann Beaglehole (Allen and Unwin)


The History of Policing in New Zealand, vol. 1, Policing the Colonial Frontier: The Theory and Practice of Coercive Social and Racial Control in New Zealand 1767-1867, Richard S. Hill (Government Printer)

Maternity in Dispute: New Zealand 1920-1939, Philippa Mein Smith (Historical Publications Branch/Government Printer)

The New Zealand People at War: The Home Front (2 vols), Nancy M. Taylor (Government Printer)


Documents on New Zealand External Relations, vol. 3, The Anzus Pact and the Treaty of Peace with Japan, Robin Kay (Government Printer)


Documents on New Zealand External Relations, vol. 2, The Surrender and Occupation of Japan, Robin Kay (Government Printer)


Blue-Water Rationale: The Naval Defence of New Zealand 1914-1942, Ian McGibbon (Government Printer)

Funding for researchers and writers

Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants supports historians, researchers and writers working on non-fiction projects that will significantly enhance our understanding of New Zealand’s past.

The Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants provides financial help for the recording of oral histories relating to the history of New Zealand and our close connections with the Pacific.


Support for teaching and learning about history

Te Akomanga

Explore Te Akomanga, a space for the teaching and learning the histories of Aotearoa New Zealand. It contains contexts and activities for teachers, which can be used to generate conversations for discussion in the classroom and inspire students for their own research projects.

Te Akomanga (NZHistory)

Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement stories education resources

Te Tai Whakaea offers a collection of cross-curricular education resources for students and teachers in both Māori and English mediums. These resources align with the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Education resources (Te Taiwhakaea)

Vietnam War education resources

This website includes activities and teaching strategies to explore the experiences of New Zealanders and the Vietnam War.

Teaching the Vietnam War at school (Vietnam War)