New Zealand Newspapers

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Newspapers contain articles regarding current events in a given area. They may contain lists of births, marriages, deaths, and obituaries, regardless of individual religious affiliations, that may not exist in any other records. They can also contain biographies, names of recent emigrants and immigrants, and records of court cases, and juror’s lists. These types of records can be of genealogical value in that they put a person at a certain place on a certain date, naming family members, ages, religion, cemeteries, and occupations.

The earliest newspapers in New Zealand were New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator and Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette, which began publication in 1840. Other early papers include the Sydney Gazette, the Hobart Town Courier or Gazette.

The National Library of New Zealand's PapersPast project to digitize newspapers currently includes online 44 papers from 1840-1915 representing all regions in New Zealand.  Of these, 17 are keyword searchable. You can browse by date, region and title. To search these papers, go to

The New Zealand Digital Library project has made many Maori newspapers available online.  To view this site, go to

Public libraries and newspaper offices keep back issues of newspapers, many of which have been microfilmed. The Hocken Library, for instance, has a significant collection. Researchers may wish to write directly to the archives. Information on surviving newspapers, along with addresses for newspaper offices or archives, can be found in:

  • Harvey, D. R. Union List of New Zealand Newspapers Before 1940: preserved in libraries, newspaper offices, local authority offices and museums in New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: National Library of New Zealand, 1985. (FHL book 993.1 B33h.)

The Family History Library has some indexes to vital records found in newspapers. They are found in the Family History Library Catalog, Place Search, under:




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