A new bird for New Zealand – magpie-lark

  • An adult male magpie-lark in flight – one of the most familiar and easy to recognise of all Australian birds. Image: Craig Greer, NZ Birds Online
  • An adult female magpie-lark photographed in Melbourne. Image: Sonja Ross, NZ Birds Online
  • The adult male magpie-lark perched on the roof of the Department of Conservation hut at Gorge River, 29 April 2008. Image: Robert Long
  • •	An aerial view of the ‘settlement’ at Gorge River mouth, with Robert Long & Catherine Stewart’s house on the left, and the Department of Conservation hut on the right. Image: Robert Long

New bird species are added to the New Zealand list on average once every two years. Many of these are vagrants that have been blown (or flown) across the Tasman Sea, with recent examples including Australian reed warbler (2004), straw-necked ibis (2009), Pacific gull (2010) and dusky woodswallow (2014). However, few new arrivals have a… Read more »

WWI case studies of courage and despair

Thirteen unidentified WWI soldiers mending boots at Oatlands Park England,1918

In May this year, Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I closed, after its ten-month-long display at Te Papa. This exhibition, which explored how New Zealand soldiers disabled by World War I were supported to regain their economic independence, included 8 sepia photographs of limbless soldiers demonstrating new work skills they were taught while… Read more »

Collecting childhood: Objects and stories from kiwi kids

Maya Shaw, one of the children in Te Papa’s Collecting childhood project, 2012. Maya donated her favourite dress and an amber bead necklace, shown in the picture. Photograph by Ken Downie. Te Papa

  One thing we all have in common is we’ve all been kids. Some of us still are. But have you ever wondered how your childhood experiences might provide insights into wider society? Studies into childhood provide information about changing ideologies around parenting, social welfare, education, health and wellbeing, as well as more general trends… Read more »

Celebration of personal milestones in the Botany collection

Peter Beveridge using a hand lens to examine a bryophyte specimen, amongst subalpine vegetation.

Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors: Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and… Read more »

Writing Gallipoli: The scale of our war – Part 2

How’s your war slang, cobber? A1 you reckon? Take the Great War Word Quiz Whence comes ‘the top brass’? The etymology of war In my earlier blog, I talked about writing from the soldiers’ perspective and creating our narrator – ‘the grunt’. An unexpected outcome was learning about the origins of many words we use… Read more »

Ko te whānau o Matariki: Matariki Education Resource 2015 – Part 3

Orion and the Milky Way by jpstanley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/79297308@N00/16179230263

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this resource, we were introduced to Matariki and her six daughters – learning how each star plays her own special part in preparing the environments of Papatūānuku for the New Year. In this final section, we will be introducing three of Matariki’s cousins: Puanga/Puaka, Pūtātara and Hine-takurua. Papatūānuku has entrusted these whetū kanapa (bright stars)… Read more »

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!

  • Coates, Isaac. E Ranguera. Rangiahaeta's wife. The woman that was killed at the "Wiaroi". [1843?]. Ref: A-286-015. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • NON-ATL-P-0078 Hills above Tuamarina by Francis Dillon bell
  • O.004170 Land of memories, The monument at Tuamarina 1988 Mark Adams
  • Charles Heaphy Rangiaeata. 1840. Ref C-025-022 ATL

Stories from He iti whetū : Ngāti Toa portraits Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa: Kanohi Kitea Māori & Pacific Encounters THE BLENKINSOP INDENTURE The 1832 deed for the purchase of the Wairau valley from Ngāti Toa by Captain John William Dundas Blenkinsop. part one The 1832 Blenkinsop Indenture is best known for two things. Firstly,… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 4): Expedition Snares Islands

Caption: A new moss record for the Snares Islands - Tayloria purpurascens! Te papa collection item M041684. On the right you can see the leafy gametophyte (gamete plant). And on the left, the stalk-like structure is the sporophyte (spore plant) which develops from female reproductive organs on the gametophyte. (Field of view c. 4cm)

Back in December 2013, four Te Papa Scientists ventured into the deep south on a 15 day expedition to the Snares Islands. Some of you may remember earlier Snares blog posts and you tube videos from this excursion. In order to provide a quick reference resource on Snares Islands botany I recently completed some Expedition Snares… Read more »

Ko te whānau o Matariki: Matariki Education Resource 2015 – Part 2

Matariki, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa

During the coldest time each year the Matariki star cluster comes rising up for the first time in the eastern sky. This occurrence marks the beginning of an important time of year – the Māori New Year. In this series of blogs, Te Papa Education hopes to introduce you to each of the seven members of this star whānau, from… Read more »

Writing Gallipoli: The scale of our war – Part 1

Part of a letter written by a soldier named Kapper, Wellington Infantry Battalion, Gallipoli, 1915. Courtesy of Exhibition Historical Director Dr Christopher Pugsley.

In our latest Gallipoli blog, Te Papa’s Head Writer Frith Williams takes you behind the scenes with the writers of the exhibition. ‘By jove it was awful’: Writing from the soldiers’ perspective Gallipoli: the large-scale models by Weta Workshop, the powerful stories, the interactive experiences – they’ve all attracted a lot of attention. With any… Read more »