This guide aims to suggest how you might research Whakapapa and highlights some resources to use.
“Whakapapa is the core of traditional mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). Whakapapa means genealogy. Other Māori terms for genealogy are kāwai and tātai. Kauwhau and taki refer to the process of tracing genealogies.”
Rāwiri Taonui. 'Whakapapa – genealogy - What is whakapapa?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 17-Dec-14
This question is asked when meeting or being introduced to people you do not know. It is also the question whakapapa research seeks to answer. Your search for whakapapa is likely to require you drawing on family knowledge, published sources and official records.
Starting your research should begin with identifying what you know. From there you can consider using the resources mentioned in this guide.
These three titles will help you start your search, check if our print copies are available:
Archives New Zealand
Department of Internal Affairs
Māori Land Court
Statistics New Zealand
Te Puni Kōkiri
Key government sources
Early records provide some of the best information on or about Māori. These are the 4 most significant: