Kiingitanga (Māori King movement)

Where can I find information about Kiingitanga – the Māori King movement?

Image: IMG_5506 by Manatū Taonga on Flickr.

Entry last updated: 22/06/21


Kiingitanga, the Māori King movement, was founded in 1858 with the aim of uniting the different tribes of Māori under a single leader. The current king, Te Arikinui Tūheitia Paki, is the seventh Māori monarch. Koroneihana (coronation) is a celebration and meeting of people involved in the Kīngitanga movement which happens every year at Tūrangawaewae Marae.

List of Māori monarchs

  • Pōtatau Te Wherowhero 1858 to 1860.
  • Tāwhiao 1860 to 1894.
  • Mahuta Tāwhiao 1894 to 1912.
  • Te Rata Mahuta 1912 to 1933.
  • Korokī Mahuta 1933 to 1966.
  • Te Atairangikaahu 1966 to 2006.
  • Tūheitia Paki 2006 to current.

General websites

Kiingitanga is an important part of New Zealand politics and history. Here are some reliable New Zealand websites with lots of information for you to investigate.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is a great starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa and it's people, environment, history and culture.

  • Type the keyword 'Kīngitanga' in the search box. You will see a list of stories, images and biographies in the results.
  • Explore the story Origins of the Kīngitanga to read how the movement began, and links to Māori kings over the years.
  • Find other articles and images from the results page that connect to information about the Kīngitanga flags and places like Ngāruawāhia where the first king was crowned.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (DNZB)

DNZB is a part of Te Ara that contains the life stories of over 3,000 famous people from New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Use the search box to look for biographies of Māori kings like Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, the first Māori king.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [Kīngitanga]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


NZHistory is another popular site for information on New Zealand history.

Tips: Te Ara and NZHistory are both reliable websites from the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.


DigitalNZ is a search site that brings together results from lots of different New Zealand websites such as libraries, museums, universities and government sites all at once. It has lots of primary sources.

  • Enter 'Kīngitanga' into the search box.
  • Explore the information grouped into images, videos, newspapers, articles and research papers to understand more about the Māori king movement in New Zealand's history.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

NZ On Screen

NZOnScreen is an online showcase of New Zealand television, film, music videos and web series. It is especially useful for New Zealand history and culture.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Scoop - Independent News

Scoop is an independent news website which focuses on local, political and international news.

Tips: Make sure you type the search word 'Kīngitanga' with the macron. Many Māori words have macrons over letters. Using macrons correctly in written Māori helps with the meaning of the word and how it is pronounced.

EPIC resources

EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Biography (Gale in Context)

This database has a huge range of biographies of notable people from around the world, including New Zealanders.

  • Use the search box to search for current or past Māori kings or queen such as Te Atairangikaahu — the only Māori Queen, and Tūheitia Paki — the current Māori King.

New Zealand History Collection

This collection has a range of online books about New Zealand history and biography.

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre

This database helps you access a range of magazine, reference and newspaper articles from New Zealand and Australia.

  • Enter the search word 'Kīngitanga' in the search box.
  • Make sure to select Full Text from the Refine Results option.
  • The article Opportunity for Kingitanga reflects the Kīngitanga movement as it is seen today.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


There are not a lot of books written on Kīngitanga. Here some titles you may find in your public library.

SCIS no. 1968951
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