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Using fuzzy boolean wildcard and range searches

Our search tools support some special features for controlling your queries. In the search box try combining the following operators with your keywords.

Fuzzy search

If you do not get enough results from your search, try using fuzzy search by putting a tilde (~) after your term. Fuzzy searching will find a word even if it is misspelled.

  • use ~ after a word to mean "similar to", e.g. wanganui~
  • use ~ after a phrase to find words within a certain distance of each other, e.g. "robert parris"~10

Boolean search

Use AND, OR, NOT to refine your searches.

  • Use AND to get results that include all your search terms, e.g. salt AND pepper will retrieve only results that contain both these words
  • Use OR to get results that include at least one of your search terms; e.g. Auckland OR Tamaki
  • Use NOT to exclude unwanted search terms e.g. Wanganui NOT river will retrieve results that include "Wanganui" but not "river".
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group search terms e.g. (Fox OR Vogel) AND government


Wildcards can be used in your search terms to mean "any character here":

  • use ? as a single-character wildcard, anywhere in a word except as the first character, e.g. year:184?
  • use * as a zero-or-more-characters wildcard, anywhere in a word except the first character, e.g. year:184*


Use [begin TO end] to specify a range,