Registration Information

The Enrolment Process

The enrolment process as it exists today began evolving in the mid 1960s. Enrolment forms can be obtained either by mail, in person from our office, you can download the Whakapapa Registration Form or you can complete your whakapapa registration online. The main information required, beside personal details, are your whakapapa and the name(s) of your original 1848 Kaumātua and their corresponding census number(s). These details can be found in the Ngāi Tahu 1848 Census known as the ‘Blue Book’ (469kb PDF file).


If you are not familiar with your whakapapa or unable to complete these details you will need to make an appointment with, or contact this office.

The need to arrange appointments has become necessary due to the increased interest in Ngāi Tahu whakapapa by both newly enrolled and existing beneficiaries.

This eliminates delays and avoids frustration especially for those from out of town. Interviews are mainly centered around information contained on the whakapapa files.


Verification of enrolment details

After they are received, each application for enrolment is verified. It must again be stressed that only the relevant details ie. name, age, occupation, kaumātua descent and file references are placed on the computer system. No whakapapa is stored on the computer. No application is accepted until its authenticity has been verified. In some instances, applications for enrolment have been rejected. Rejection usually occurs because insufficient or incorrect whakapapa details have been supplied. It must also be pointed out that the roll of beneficiaries is policed for authenticity. On very rare occasions it is necessary to remove people from the beneficial role. Without exception this has occurred because erroneous information has been supplied at the time of enrolment. Being on the Tribal Register is important as it is the main facet for tribal communication. The Register provides a mail link between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and its beneficiaries.

It is vitally important that the Register be kept as accurate and up to date as is possible. This can be achieved by enrolled beneficiaries notifying our office with change of address, occupation, births, and family bereavements.


The issue of adoption is governed by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu policy and Government legislation. The policy remains that enrolments are only accepted from direct bloodline descendants of the Kaumātua in the 1848 Ngāi Tahu Census.

Adopted persons are therefore not eligible to enrol as Ngāi Tahu beneficiaries unless they are of Ngāi Tahu descent. This stance is reinforced in law. (Refer to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Act 1996, Section 7).