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What is verification of ancestry?

The University may require verification of ancestry where a provision, programme, scholarship or other benefit is targeted at a particular group (e.g. Māori or indigenous Pacific Peoples) on the basis of ancestry. Currently the only ancestries for which the University may seek verification are Māori and indigenous Pacific ancestries.

Verification is not required in relation to self-identified ethnicity information provided to the University.

No student shall be required to provide verification of ancestry, but access to certain provisions, programmes, scholarships or other benefits may be dependent on verification of ancestry.

Verification of ancestry in relation to any University process that requires it will be recorded in eVision, and will serve as confirmation of ancestry for any subsequent University purposes.

How to apply

You can apply for verification of ancestry from the 'My details' section of your eVision portal.

If you do not have an eVision account you will need to create one. More information on creating your eVision account is available on the Enrolment page.

Verification of Māori ancestry

Māori ancestry verification must be completed by Māori students applying for Māori-specific scholarships, e.g., Māori Entrance Scholarship, and competitive entry programmes, e.g., Dentistry.

We encourage all tauira Māori to engage in the Māori support offered.


Iwi registration

An iwi registration document is the primary and preferred method the University of Otago uses to verify your Māori ancestry. If you have multiple iwi you only need to provide a registration document for one of your iwi.

If you are not registered with your iwi you will need to apply directly to them. Most iwi have either an online application process or a form that can be downloaded from a website. Registration with your iwi may take time. If you are pursuing options that require Māori ancestry verification with the University of Otago start the process with your iwi early.

Students who provide an iwi registration document with the necessary information will not be required to supply anything further.

Ideally, iwi registration will be in letter format on iwi (or hapū) logo/letterhead and addressed to you, the applicant (not a parent). It will contain your iwi registration number or a statement outlining you are a registered iwi member. The name and contact details of an authorising iwi contact should also be provided.

Verification of indigenous Pacific ancestry

Documentation requirements

Where possible, students should provide verified official documentation, such as birth certificate(s), passport(s), citizenship papers, land title documents and/or death registrations, showing a traceable link to the student's indigenous Pacific ancestry. If you have more than one island of origin you do not have to provide certified documentation for each island of origin. Documentation relating to one island should be sufficient.

Indigenous Pacific Ancestry Endorsement form

Where verified official documentation cannot be provided or demonstrates no clear link to indigenous Pacific ancestry, endorsement of the student's ancestry from an appropriate leader of a relevant Pacific Islands community group, such as a church minister, chief or elder, should be provided.

Indigenous Pacific Ancestry Endorsement form (PDF)

In cases where neither verified official documentation nor community group leader endorsement can be provided, you will need to upload a statement describing why you are unable to supply either verified documentation or complete the endorsement form.  Such cases will be assessed by the Pacific Verification Ancestry Committee to determine whether ancestry can be verified.

Who can assist with your verification request?

Pacific Islands Centre

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