Researchers from Victoria University have identified the names of 12,000 imperial soldiers who fought in the 1860 New Zealand Wars.
The three-year task involved searching through thousands of official documents, letters and books from the National Archives in London.
Professor Charlotte Macdonald said the purpose of identifying the soldiers was a response to the largely untold stories of the British soldiers.
"People were saying, well they're British or they're government forces but then, you know, it stopped at that point. We sort of know about some of the almost folk figures amongst the colonial militia, but not really these ordinary red coat soldiers who were here in their thousands."
Ms Macdonald said finding the names was no easy task.
"We had digital versions, photocopied versions and then the original archives and then it was a question of reading handwriting."
Ms Macdonald and research-partner Dr Rebecca Lenihan used British medal lists as a key archive to uncover the names.
"Not long after all of these regiments had left New Zealand, they thought, oh well we should have a campaign medal. So every regimental clerk is then told to compile a list so each list is different because each of the 12 or so regiments does its own thing.
"We had to go through all of that handwriting, decipher it, put it into a format that enables us to list it and sort it so it can be accessed by people who are interested."
She said it had taken a long time for the Land Wars to be officially recognised in New Zealand.
"Either people don't think New Zealand has much history so it's a general question about people not being particularly aware of the history that happens here, and we don't do a terribly good job about teaching New Zealand history in schools.
"It has that dimension of wars that are too hard to face and it's easier for many people to think of a peaceful colonial story - a story of talking and the Treaty - rather than perhaps actually the violent episodes that is what the wars represent."
The database provides public access to the names, regiments and dates of service of soldiers who fought in New Zealand and is the first instalment of a larger publicly accessible resource.