Sir Apirana Ngata (1874 - 1950)

Where can I find information about Sir Apirana Ngata?

Entry last updated: 13/01/21


Sir Apirana Ngata (1874-1950) was a Ngati Porou leader, lawyer and politician. He is famous for his work in Māori land development and reform, and for his support for the creation of a Māori battalion during the World War Two.

General websites

There are a number of websites that are great for information about New Zealand people and history.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is a good place to start with. It has lots of information including various articles and images. It is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. At the bottom of the page it says the site belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Use the keywords 'Apirana Ngata' to search.
  • Select the Biographies tab on the side of search results.
  • Choose the first entry, which is a biography of Sir Apirana Ngata.

Read the article and find other keywords you can use to broaden your search into other areas. You can also try searching for 'Māori Land Reform' and the 'Māori Battalion'.

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, e.g Apirana Ngata. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


NZHistory is, like Te Ara, a site that focuses on New Zealand's culture and past. It is easy to read and has links to other resources.

  • You could try the same keywords you used in your Te Ara search.
  • Results are grouped in themes on the right hand side.
  • Click on the links for the different entries to find other related material.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

New Zealand Electronic Text Collection (NZETC)

NZETC, the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection, has all sorts of digitized materials. It sometimes needs careful research to find information you're looking for.

  • Start by doing a keyword search.
  • You can use the filters on the left hand side to focus your search.
  • Within a work you can try using an index to find further references.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. 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.

Australian/New Zealand Reference Centre

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. You may need a password to access it.

This particular database is a great resource for newspaper and magazine articles from New Zealand and Australia.

  • Just type keywords 'Apirana Ngata' or other related topics into the search bar.
  • Tick the box Full Text so you can find complete articles.
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 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Images and documentaries

Sometimes it's difficult to find pictures of people who lived in the past, but it helps if the person is quite famous like Sir Apirana Ngata. There are also documentaries that include stories and information about his life.


DigitalNZ is like a search engine and combines results from different websites and is a good place to start as an overview of options. It’s an easy way of searching online resources from New Zealand libraries, museums, universities and government sites all at once, and has lots of primary sources.

  • Start by searching for 'Apirana Ngata'.
  • The results are grouped by the type of information, like images, videos, newspapers, articles and research papers.


This website includes films and documentaries that have appeared on New Zealand television.

  • Click on the search button and enter your keywords.
  • Select the documentary you wish to watch.
  • The main documentary about Sir Apirana Ngata is called Pounamu - Apirana Turupa Ngata.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .com 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.


There have been a lot of books written about Sir Apirana Ngata, so you could visit your school library or local library for more information. Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1832646
managed by
proudly supported by

Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)

We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.