Site Information

Page 1 – Introduction


On this page:


The site features information and resources from within the Research and Publishing Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington, New Zealand. You can browse content by People, Places, Events and Topics. Also, three broad categories showcase themes in New Zealand history: Culture and societyPolitics and government and New Zealand at war. A Calendar of New Zealand history events provides short essays and links to further sources on over 500 events in New Zealand history, at least one for each day of the year. Te Akomanga and a Hands-on history section includes links to guides, external websites and other material for those who are 'doing' and teaching history.

NZHistory features three major databases: the South African War embarkation roll, the Memorials register and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition as well as smaller databases of Treaty of Waitangi and He Whakaputanga - Declaration of Independence signatories.

Brief history

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Jack Elder, launched the site at a function at National Archives (now Archives New Zealand) in Wellington on 16 March 1999. On 1 December 2001 the History Group launched the online Dictionary of New Zealand Biography which contains essays on over 3000 New Zealanders and 'Our land our people', a series of 'snapshots' of historical events and trends. In 2005 the Ministry for Culture and Heritage launched three major new web projects: Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (February); Anzac Day – a guide for New Zealanders (March) and on this site we added The Classroom (now called Te Akomanga) - a major new section for history teachers - and The Calendar of New Zealand history events in November.

In February 2006 the website was relaunched with a design by Shift using the Joomla! open source content management system. The technical build was carried out by Timebased. In February 2007 the site was moved into the more sophisticated Drupal open source CMS to accommodate changes required to incorporate the website and to add further functionality. The visual and technical design for this work was carried out by Timebased.

Please email us with your suggestions and feedback.


This site is designed to be accessible to as wide a range of users as practicable. To this end we have endeavoured to adhere to World Wide Web Consortium standards for HTML/XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets and web accessibility.

While the site should work properly in early browsers, it will look much better in more recent versions which have a greater support for CSS. Please email [email protected] if you have any problems accessing the content on this site.


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How to cite this page

'About this site', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 23-May-2024