How to find someone in New Zealand

There are many legitimate reasons why someone would want to find an individual in New Zealand. A missing person, old friend, high school sweetheart, family member or even someone who owes you money – typically we as investigators hear these reasons the most. So what can you do if you need to locate someone? We at Online Investigations Pty Ltd (your preferred Private Investigator Melbourne)  have put together a simple and straightforward list which can assist you should you need to locate someone in New Zealand. (If you are trying to find someone in Australia, head over to our previous blog here).

1. Make a list

Like most things in life – preparation increases your best chance of success. What information do you already know about the person? When attempting to locate someone take the time to sit down and compile a list of everything you know about that person. For example:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Last known addresses/telephone numbers/email/social networking accounts
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Spouse name/Children’s names/Other family members

This information will provide you the beginning parameters of your search. For each piece of information you have, this not only offers you additional avenues to follow up – but it also verifies that the information you have obtained is for the correct individual! There is no point trying to locate a “John Smith” in “New Zealand” – this will only result in millions of matching results. Ideally you will also know his middle name, date of birth and at least a City or Suburb to search in!

Furthermore, creating a list can also uncover a wealth of additional information which you may previously have thought had no bearing on locating the individual. Having knowledge that the individual you are trying to locate is a keen rower for example, may help you locate him at a local rowing club or event. Do not discount any information you know about the individual. As investigators we have located thousands of individuals on the most obscure piece of information which our client originally thought wasn’t initially worth passing on. If you choose to engage a professional service to locate someone, a great investigator will take the time to ask you questions about the individual and identify information which you may not have previously thought important.

Now that you have your list this can also be useful to an investigator if you choose to engage one further down the track. As most investigators charge on an hourly basis, any information you can provide about the searches you have already done will ensure your investigator is well briefed prior to beginning of their inquiries and also prevent them from doubling up on searches.

2. Identify mutual friends

Do you know anyone who may know where this person is? The best advantage you have over a professional service and/or databases are mutual friends who are willing to help you.

In the majority of cases, people are more than happy to pass on information about someone if they know who they are giving it to. This gives you a distinct advantage over an investigation company who may have to spend time gaining an individuals trust before they will release information to them, or in some cases even use pretexting to obtain the desired result.

3. Use online resources

By now the list you have made should be complete with as much information as you and your associates can possibly recall about the individual. Based on this information you can now utilise free online resources to further unravel the mystery of where the individual may be. Below we have compiled a list of free online resources that we recommend utilising in your search for a missing kiwi. These are the same resources that investigators and inquiry agents will begin their searches at, so you know by using these you are on the right track.

Historical records:

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online

Register of NZ Presbyterian marriages

General historic records (NZhistory)

Archives NZ

DigitalNZ (30+ million NZ archives)

Various NZ archives (NZsghamilton)

Historic marriage and divorce records

Cenotaph (Historic Military Records)

Coraweb NZ

Cemetery Records and databases (Christchurch City Libraries)

Cemetery Records and databases (Interment)

New Zealand Herald Obituary search

Memory Tree Obituary search

Rootsweb genealogy sites

NZ History – Military

NZ Cemeteries list

Local Government – Cemeteries search

Telephone and Address checks:

Whitepages (Telephone)

Electoral Roll check

Criminal Checks:

Violent Offender Database (Sensible Sentencing – not complete)

Paedophile and Sex Offender Database (Sensible Sentencing – not complete)

Database Sentencing Tracker (Sensible Sentencing – not complete)

Land and Business Checks:

Personal Properties Security Register

New Zealand Companies Register

Societies and Trusts online

Land Information and Titles

Maori Land search

Emission Unit Register


.nz Domain name check

Rate my teachers

Stevens gift registry

Professional registers

Architects Registry

Teachers Registry

Doctors Registry

Certified Builder search

Licensed Builder Practitioner Registry

Veterinarian Registry

Social Worker registry

Physiotherapist Registry

Lawyer search register

Chiropractor Search

Electrical Workers registry

Register of exercise professionals

For further sites personally recommended by Online Investigations, make sure you check out the PItoolbox!

4. Use for access to historic records

If you have limited information or the individual you are trying to locate is over the age of 55 then a fantastic database you should be looking at is  Containing electoral rolls up till the year 1980, this searchable database allows you to identify possible middle names, other family members, possible burials, family trees, marriage records and/or immigration records.  This is a database we as investigators use on a regular basis and has allowed us to achieve fantastic results without having to scour through microfiche at our local library.

Through the following link we offer the opportunity for a free trial of their database (which is a fantastic offer given a yearly fee is over $400!).  Use the following link: Ancestry Free Trial

5. Use to access their DNA Database

If you are trying to locate an unknown family member (particularly in regards to birth parents / siblings) then consideration should be given towards adding yourself to a DNA Database.  Sometimes you may not know the full name of a family member (eg child resulting from a one night stand) or you may know little about your family history (eg adoption).  By adding yourself to a DNA database, you will be notified of any common links between your DNA and other individuals who are also joined.  This is a fantastic tool when it comes to connecting with extended family members.  When you join, you join under an anonymous profile and if you match to other individuals on the database, you have the opportunity to connect with them through their messenger service on the website.  Your details will only be exchanged between both parties if consent is given and the opportunity also exists to share family trees and further establish the ancestral links between you both.

To join the DNA Database and find out more information use our link here: AncestryDNA®

6. Engage a professional and licensed private investigator

Despite your extensive efforts, if you are still unable to locate the individual then it is time to consider engaging a professional skip tracing and location agency.

It is important to remember that despite the fact you may have conducted extensive efforts with no success, private investigators have an extensive knowledge base in locating individuals. Although they are not the Police and don’t have access to the same databases as them, the advantage for using a private investigator is that they have subscriptions to a number of databases which members of the public don’t. The majority of these databases charge an annual fee which is simply too expensive and uneconomical for members of the public to pay for a one-off search. Use of these databases, together with their expertise in interviewing, making discreet inquiries and speaking with their network of contacts will ensure the highest rate of success of finding your missing person.

Online Investigations Pty Ltd are private investigators in Melbourne who have extensive experiencing in locating individuals, witnesses, debtors and Defendants. Their expertise has helped locate individuals which other investigation companies have previously failed at. All location inquiries are conducted using a range of offline and online investigation methods – simply put, we get results.

To enquire about our range of location methods and obtain a free consultation please contact us or alternatively call us anytime on 1300 884 596.

Online Investigations Pty Ltd are a private investigation company based in Melbourne, Australia. Experienced private investigators and detectives in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Worldwide. Servicing Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and International (including New Zealand!).

You may be interested in our other guides:

How to find someone in the United Kingdom

How to find someone in Australia

Are you trying to locate someone in New Zealand? Let others know you’re looking below!

23 thoughts on “How to find someone in New Zealand

  1. Coral Washington Reply

    I’m trying to find my Mother in Wellington New Zealand or Wanganui Ramona Love and Brothers Marshall Love and Robert Love I live in the United States and desperately need to locate them can anyone help

  2. Paul Merrin Reply

    Locate June Lona Scott born 1931 Marlborough district This is her maiden name Age at present would be 84 ?.If any immediate family surviving contact the above’\.

    • paul merrin Reply

      Still looking for this person .If you have any information contact me at
      My original name born with was Christopher Charles Scott 16/05/1950

  3. Shandy moke Reply

    Hi I am trying to find my mumz real birth mother, Her real name is Mary ann rogers from gisborne she was 18 at the time giving birth and sh will be 67 years old right now, she had named my mother amicia kay rogers

  4. Tanelle Evans Reply

    I am looking for my Birth Father Peter Burke. He had a short fling with my Mother Karen Evans. I have never met or had any interaction with him and understand that he has a wife and children. This would mean I have other half brothers/sisters. I am just wanting to know if he is out there and if he would ever want to meet me. I am now 18 years of age and I understand he would be around 50 as my mother was ten years older than him. If anyone knows anything could they get back to me on my email.

    Regards Tanelle

  5. Lucia Reply

    Hi – I’m trying to find my friend James Wells. I met him in 2002, we got very close and lost touch a few years ago. He sold his house december 2014 and haven’t been able to get in touch as he’s not big on technology. He’s from the Raureka, Hastings, nz area. Thanks.

  6. Jaswinder giil Reply

    I’m looking for trudy Mayer or mayers she come to England in 1973/4/5 in Chatham Kent ares and left and went back to New Zealand she was a Mormon
    I did keep contact for litte bit she would be about 58 now
    I’m in New Zealand for week

  7. Shaun Reply

    Hi, I am trying to find Robert Spriggs who used to live around Auckland about 15 years ago.
    Not sure if he has moved since.
    He used to own ‘Slice Of Heaven’ in Panmure around 1991.
    He was a friend of mine and I had lost contact. Had no way of finding him …wanted to try again after all these years.
    A real shame. Would be awesome to make contact again.
    I think this will take a miracle.

  8. jacob Reply

    hi there my name is Jacob I am trying to locate my uncle grant he vanished 20 years ago and absalutly no one in the family knows where or why. I have been looking for years to try help my mum and just hit walls.
    not a single trace of him has been found

    his name is grant swinbourn brother of lynette swinbourn, Rhonda swinbourn and Julie swinbourn.
    son of Eileen Catherine Swinbourn

    please could you help me find my uncle I have tried every thing
    thank you

  9. Alexandra Smith Reply

    I am starting a search for my father – I have not ever met him and am curious to find out if I have siblings.
    His name is Barry Corfe, would have been in Auckland in the early 80’s and had a brief relationship with my mother Patsy Smith at the end on 1981 (I was born August 1982).
    He possibly has red hair, and I think he used to ride a motorcycle.

  10. Imesha Reply

    I want to find my friend.could u please help me.he is in is pramod sandeepa.i have his photo with me

  11. Joyce Reply

    Hi im looking for my half sister, i dont know her name, but her mother name was myrtle Irene wiggins (cossey)and Horace basil wiggins, the were married in 1932 he was married two times, 1942 Ella agnes McAllister and had one child,
    if you could help would very much like to know them,

  12. Pauline Rowe Reply

    I am trying to trace a lady by the name of Elaine Willetts (Ryder) in NZ we went to school in Lower Hutt together and she lived in Normandale then when married John lived in Maungariki Lower Hutt. She had 2 children a girl called Charmaine and a son Jason I did meet her again in Palmerston North many years later but since lost contact – If Charmaine reads this please I would like to make contact. Pauline Rowe (Fugle)

  13. David Holmes Reply

    I am trying to locate Lindsay or Brian Cockburn who were born in Geraldine. i was Briana best man at his wedding in Hawkes Bay , They use to live in Havelock Rd Hastings. Mothers name was Ngaire and father was a plumber in Hastings.



  15. Lina Reply

    Hello my name is lina. We are live in bali. My husband stephen hartley from england was looking for his brother or nephew who been lost Contact for long long time. We trying to find them so many ways, They live in New Zealand but dont know exactly what city they live. His brother name is john hartley and his nephew name is martin, adam and robert. If anyones know please email me

  16. Stella Levey Reply

    I am looking for Denise and Barrie Morgan. I lost touch in 2012
    Last known address 2 Oriental Parade Papamoa
    Before that Address was 199a Yougnston road Omokoroa Tauranga
    Barrie Worked for Cosumer affairs Petoni

  17. Mark Hardie Reply

    I am trying to locate Miss Areanne Marie Fox. Last known location is believed to be Christchurch

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