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Ancestry verification

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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.

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When is verification of ancestry required?

If you are planning to apply for any of the programmes, scholarships or other offerings below then it would be prudent to make a request for verification of ancestry as soon as possible. This will help to minimise delays when processing any of the applications below.

Verification of Māori Ancestry

Iwi registration

Iwi registration documentation is the primary and preferred method of Māori ancestry verification. Students who can provide Iwi Registration will not be required to supply any further documentation and the verification process will be much more straightforward. If you do not already have Iwi Registration you will need to make an application through your Iwi. Most Iwi have either an online application process or a form that can be downloaded from the Iwi website to apply for registration.

Ideally iwi registration will be in a letter format with an iwi (or hapū) logo or letterhead. The letter should be addressed to the applicant (not a parent) and contain an iwi registration number or statement outlining the applicant is a registered iwi member. The name and contact details of the iwi contact person(s) should also be provided.

Whakapapa endorsement form

If you cannot provide Iwi Registration documentation you will be required to complete a Whakapapa Endorsement Form which must be endorsed by an appropriate independent party.

  • The endorser must be able to confirm the ancestry details of the applicant.
  • The endorser cannot be a sibling, spouse or parent to the applicant.
  • The endorser must agree to be contacted if necessary.

Assessment of ancestry on the basis of Whakapapa Endorsement shall be carried out by a designated staff member or staff members with the specialist knowledge to assess whakapapa information.

Whakapapa endorsement forms are available on request and may take longer to process than the preferred iwi registration documents.

Who can assist with your verification request?

If you have any questions please contact:

maori-ancestry-verification@otago.ac.nz

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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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