They are understood to form a distinct lineage within the passerines, but authorities differ on their assignment to the oscines or suboscines (the two suborders that between them make up the passeriformes). DNA-DNA hybridisation studies suggest that they may, in fact, form a third suborder and have no living close relatives at all. They are called "wrens" due to their similar appearance and behavior, but are not related to true wrens.
- Titipounamu or Rifleman, Acanthisitta chloris
Bush Wren, Xenicus longipes (possibly extinct)
Piwauwau or New Zealand Rock Wren, Xenicus gilviventris
Stephens Island Wren, Xenicus lyalli (extinct)
North Island Stout-legged Wren, Pachyplichas yaldwyni (extinct in prehistoric times)
South Island Stout-legged Wren, Pachyplichas jagmi (extinct in prehistoric times)
Long-legged Wren, Dendroscansor decurvirostris (extinct in prehistoric times)