An overview to resources for information about the Pacific and Pacific peoples.

Searching for Pacific information

When searching this site for Pacific information, try general keywords like Oceania, Pacific Area, South Pacific, and specific keywords like place names and people names.

If you are looking for historical information, remember that many of the names of places in the Pacific have changed, or changed in the way that they are spelt over the early period of Pacific written language use. Some places may have been known by an English, German, or French name for a time.

One excellent starting point is Pacific Island Names, which has maps and groupings of Pacific islands and also a 600 name index linking old names/spellings to the official name. For example, Fox Island's official name is now Nanuya Balavu.

Finding recent information about the Pacific

If you are interested in finding recent or current information about the Pacific and Pacific peoples, journals and magazines are a good place to start. Try requesting the latest issue of these journals, or search for your topic and filter your results to display only information in journals.

The Contemporary Pacific (available in full-text online from the reading room via Gale Group InfoTrac OneFile Journals)

Contemporary Pacific Fiction

Journal of Maori and Pacific development: He puna korero

Journal of Pacific History (available online from the reading room only)

Journal of the Polynesian Society (available in full-text online from 1892 to 2010)

Pacific arts: the journal of the Pacific Arts Association

Pacific studies 


Pacific information in electronic resources

The National Library subscribes to many electronic resources that can provide information about the Pacific and Pacific peoples. Index New Zealand is available to view via the National Library website; the other titles are available to view only onsite at the National Library in Molesworth Street.

  • Academic Research Library (Proquest) — General subjects. Full-text. 
  • Country Reports and Profiles Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — Current economic, political and business information. Includes quarterly and annual reports for Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia & Samoa.
  • Empire online — British empire: colonial history, politics, culture and society 1492-1962. Over 70,000 images of original manuscripts and printed material with introductory essays.
  • Index New Zealand — Index to magazines and newspapers including a selection of Pacific magazines
  • Niustext (Pacific Islands Research Archive) — Full-text Pacific news archive. Includes Cook Islands News from 1992, Islands Business and Tongan Newspapers
  • PAIS International — Public Affairs Information Services Index to social sciences, especially contemporary public issues and public policy. 
  • World History Resource Center (Gale) — Full-text periodicals, extensive collection of primary source documents.

The Pacific on the web

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre — An online archive of New Zealand and Pacific Islands texts and heritage materials, which offers a fully searchable set of images and full-text books, manuscripts and journals.

Pacific Legal Gateway — Links to legal websites of the Pacific

Pacific Islands News And Information Links — Links to full-text online newspapers, magazines, radio & TV news and other Pacific related web pages

Tagata Pasifika — TVNZ website includes articles, videos, news related to the Pacific

Te Puna Web Directory > Pacific — A subject gateway to selected New Zealand and Pacific Island Internet information resources

Pacific Family History

Pacific Family History - external sites useful for family history research.

Family Search — The largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world. Includes Pacific records. Many of these records can be accessed using the Family Search Service, located on the 1st floor of the National Library building.

Pacific Islands interests — Newsletter New Zealand Society of Genealogists

PacificGenWeb — Discussion and collaboration on genealogy and family history of indigenous peoples from the Pacific region

Pacific Manuscripts Bureau PAMBU — Locates and microfilms archives, manuscripts & other unpublished material from the Pacific region. Material microfilmed by the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau is available to view in the Reading Rooms, located on the 1st floor of the National Library, Molesworth St, Wellington

Pacific Manuscripts Bureau microfilms can also be borrowed using the interlibrary loan system within New Zealand.