Auckland Libraries: Introduction to whakapapa research

Introduction to whakapapa research

Kupu whakataki ki te rangahau whakapapa

Whakapapa is about people: it is a link to tūpuna, to heritage, to identity. For Māori it is a taonga, and for many it is also tapu.

Why people search for whakapapa

There are many reasons why people search for whakapapa today:

  • to find out about their identity
  • to pass on to the whānau
  • for succession to whenua
  • for scholarship grants.

Traditionally whakapapa was entrusted orally to a member of the whānau selected to be its caretaker.


Snapshots of Māori attending a sitting of the Māori Land Court - Lake Taupō, 1914

Snapshots of Māori attending a sitting of the Māori Land Court - Lake Taupō, 1914