Resources for researching place names in New Zealand and its offshore islands

Use these resources to help you research place names for geographic features and places in New Zealand and its offshore islands.

NZGB resources

NZGB archives and databases

The NZGB holds these archives and databases of information on place names, including proposals, submissions and historical gazetted names. Depending on availability, public access may be possible - please contact the NZGB.

  • Correspondence volumes 1-72, 1915 -1994
  • Board minutes volumes 1-9, 1927-1986
  • File 22/2605/3 volumes 1-19, 1945-1993
  • Antarctic names volumes 1-8, 1952-1994
  • Manual card indexes
  • Database of proposals and submissions 
  • Database of enquiries 
  • Database of Māori place name articles from New Zealand Surveyor  journals

NZGB publications

LINZ library

Full list of titles in the NZGB place names collection


Please contact NZGB for historic maps.

LINZ applications

New Zealand Gazetteer

Official Geographic Names

Other resources


Gazetteers that list place names in Antarctica

New Zealand Gazette

Victoria University

Research historical publications at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre 

Waikato University

Henry Fletcher’s index lists a large number of Māori names referred to in books and journals 

Te Puni Kōkiri

Te Puni Kōkiri has a directory of mandated iwi authorities to contact when consulting about Māori place names (link is external)

Māori Dictionaries

For help with translation see:

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand has a Dictionary of New Zealand Biographies

Office of Treaty Settlements

Search Deeds of Settlement that list places names agreed to as part of Treaty of Waitangi redress

Department of Conservation

Check the Department of Conservation’s maps for recreational and reserve areas

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

The Guidelines for Māori Language Orthography set out the best current practice for spelling and writing in te Reo Māori 

Kōrero Māori

Listen to how Māori place names are pronounced

International Hydrographic Organisation

Archives New Zealand

You can search microfilms of historic documents and maps including Elsdon Best’s articles and articles published by the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961

The Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is an official language of New Zealand. You can search for place names in the Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language  

National Library


Last Updated: 12 August 2015