Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking for land history and burials

In researching the history of properties, houses and people, I have found the relatively recent upsurge in available online maps and databases, of the searchable kind, to be an utter boon. Just thought I'd compile together a few I know about, add the link to this post to the sidebar, and use this as an update point and one-stop reference.

First -- there is a good database collection of links to online cemetery information already: Kiwi Celts NZ Cemetery Database. There are some broken links, but hey, these councils keep changing and amalgamating, so no surprises there.

There is a collective site for territorial authorities in NZ: Local Councils. Handy links, divided by region, lead you to your local council website, and what goodies they can provide to the nomadic researcher.

Here are some of the excellent map sites. where you can zero in on specific properties and get legal descriptions to further the research.

North Island

Far North Maps

Whangarei District Council GIS Maps
Auckland Council GIS Viewer

Environment Waikato Maps:
Go to Districts tab, select, and it will take you there.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Maps

Gisborne District Council Map TV

Taranaki Regional Xplorer

Palmerston North Geo Guide

Wanganui District Council Exponare

Porirua City Council

Wellington City Council maps

Kapiti Coast District Council Map Images

South Island

Tasman District: Top of the South Maps

Marlborough District Council: Dekho Maps

Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Council)

Dunedin City Council webmaps

Queenstown Lakes District Council maps

Invercargill City Council Xplorer


  1. That's awesome. I just noticed you've changed your blog format around looks great! The other one did as well.

  2. Love the new blog look :)
    Yes, these newly available online maps are fab!

    On a side note - I was told almost all the old council rates book for Dunolly were pulped for the war effort and this was quite common here. Did this kind of thing happen in NZ, too?

  3. Thanks Liz -- yes, I liked the old version, but the cell size was finite, and I really did want something with a bit more elbow room. Apologies for those viewing this at less than 900 res and have to scroll ...

    Cheers, Jayne. I've still got a bit to go -- need to wrangle the header a bit -- but it's good so far. :-)

    As for the wartime rates book pulping: I haven't come across again here specifically saying "We destroyed the old rates books 'cause we needed the paper to fight Tojo with." But lots of other things happen to paper records. If rates are collected at private homes, you can pretty much kiss those records bye bye. Then there's floods, earthquakes, fires, pests ... It's actually miraculous we have anything left at all. Auckland City is great, though. Their rates books go back almost as far as 1871.

  4. The Auckland Council GIS Viewer link is broken