Archives New Zealand is a rich source of records on family history for both Māori and Pakeha. It is useful to structure your research around key events in a person’s life, for example, birth, death, marriage, education and immigration.
There are many ways in which people interact with government. Your subject might have served in the armed forces, been granted land by government, been naturalised as a New Zealander, registered as an enemy alien during the war, been involved in a crime, worked for government, or died under suspicious circumstances. Records of these interactions may have been kept and transferred to Archives New Zealand as part of the public record.
See the Archives New Zealand website for researching information.