Whanaungatanga (attaining and maintaining relationships) as a concept is a customary Māori practice enabling kin to strengthen relationships and ties between one another and entrench responsibilities as whānau (family). Increased use of Internet and social networking sites (SNSs) by Māori is providing alternative methods for forging and maintaining relationships making this process more accessible for kin and those who do not have genealogical connections but are linked through a common purpose to share, engage and interact with each other. Whanaungatanga is thereby shifting in its sphere of application from physical to virtual spaces, in ways that influence the dynamics, relevance and impacts of its practice. This paper discusses the concept of whanaungatanga from both customary and contemporary perspectives providing analyses into how relationships are attained and maintained through SNSs. Data findings showed that the virtual form of whanaungatanga (that which remained rooted in the underlying principles of face-to-face whanaungatanga) enabled Māori to (re)connect to existing and new family members, friends, marae (main gathering places), hapū (sub-tribes) and iwi (tribes) in less formal ways.