Te Puna Web Directory is the National Library of New Zealand’s redevelopment of Lincoln University’s directory of Internet-accessible New Zealand information sources – "Ara Nui – Many paths to Aotearoa/New Zealand information" and since 2001 incorporates the University of Auckland Library's Ngā Matatiki Rorohiko - Māori electronic resources.
Ara Nui was started in early 1995 by Andrew White, Information Technology Librarian at Lincoln University Library, as a way to improve access and "keep tabs" on the New Zealand information that was just beginning to appear on the World Wide Web. Ara Nui focused on providing a general reference tool for New Zealanders, rather than focusing on company or tourist information.
Ara Nui consisted of a series of linked HTML pages from an initial page of broad subject headings. This structure was beginning to be unsustainable with the growth of the WWW, and in June 1998 Lincoln University asked the library and information community for assistance to redevelop the directory. In October 1998 Lincoln University asked the Information Technology Special Interest Group (IT-SIG) of what was then the New Zealand Library and Information Association (now LIANZA – Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) to investigate technical options for the redevelopment of Ara Nui. A proposal was put forward, although finance was an issue.
In late 1999 the National Library of New Zealand made an offer to undertake the development and management of a new, enhanced web directory and database to replace Ara Nui. An interim directory was launched in March 2000. Enhancement will be a continual process.
In early 2001 the National Library of New Zealand has entered into an agreement with Auckland University Library to add Ngā Matatiki Rorohiko, the Māori Electronic Resources, from LEARN into Te Puna Web Directory. This list of electronic resources originated from Robert Sullivan and Alastair Smith's publication "Māori electronic information resources. New Zealand Libraries June 1996" which has been superseded by Alastair Smith's "Fishing with nets: Māori internet information resources and implications of the internet for indigenous peoples. INET-97 proceedings". The electronic resources listed in Ngā Matatiki Rorohiko have now been incorporated into the list of Māori web sites/Ko te Rārangi Kaupapa Māori within the Te Puna Web Directory.