Photographer Glenn Jowitt passes away

Jowitt - hats

It is with sadness and regret that we learned that photographer Glenn Jowitt died suddenly on Tuesday. Glenn is best known for his photography of Pacific people and their cultures, both in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands. Glenn was born in 1955 in Upper Hutt. He studied art and design at the Ilam School… Read more »

Haere rā OurSpace

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On Sunday we’ll be saying goodbye to our multimedia exhibition OurSpace to make room for the next exciting step towards Te Papa’s flagship exhibition commemorating 100 years since WWI. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed images and videos to OurSpace, which opened in 2008. More than 10,000 images and videos were provided so they could be… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

Common plant names for Māori Language Week

  • Whauwhaupaku is readily recognised by its leaves with (usually) five stalked leaflets. It is common in the North Island, and extends into the South Island, with a southern limit around Dunedin. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Tarata is a widespread tree that is also common in cultivation, because of its fast growth and lemon-scented flowers. The leaves, when crushed, also smell of lemon. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Tawhai trees dominate much of New Zealand’s remaining forests, being adapted to cold (or dry) conditions. If you want to be more specific, tawhairaunui can be used for red and hard beech, and tawhairauriki for black and mountain beech. The photo shows silver beech, known simply as tawhai. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Porokaiwhiri is a common and widespread small tree. Photo © Leon Perrie.

For many of New Zealand’s indigenous plants, the Māori name is the ‘common’ name, and English names are rarely, if ever, used; think rimu, tōtara, kauri, pōhutukawa, and mamaku. Other species have both Māori and English names, but it is the latter that is predominant, at least in my experience. Below are some such examples… Read more »

The Berry Boys: Hot of the press (well almost)

  • Berry Boys - available from all good books stores come August.
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This coming August marks a climax of Te Papa’s Berry Boys soldier identification project, with the screening of a documentary on seven of the soldiers on TVNZ in early August (details to come), and the launch of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Te Papa Press. The latter brings all of the soldier portraits… Read more »

New WOW Factor!

A sneaky peak!

This week we are changing over a number of garments in The WOW Factor, an exhibition celebrating the wonderful, creative and inventive World of WearableArt™. The exhibition itself has been extended to 2 November 2014 so that this year’s show attendees can also enjoy seeing a number of garments up close and personal. For those of… Read more »

A Victorian Tomboy, Navigating History and Maps Maps Maps!

A birds-eye-view of the imaging process. Photograph by Riah King-Wall. © Te Papa

By Riah King-Wall, intern Kia ora – I’m Riah King-Wall, and for the past five weeks I’ve been digging into some of the fascinating bits and pieces housed within the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here on placement from the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington, I’ve… Read more »

Banana playing a blue accordion: a Muka Youth Print

By Rebecca Nuttall, intern “Banana playing a blue accordion.” What? My name is Rebecca Nuttall. I’ve been an intern at Te Papa and I’m describing this print to you. You’re going to love it. That’s not true. You may hate it. But how would you know? I don’t think you can fully appreciate this print… Read more »

A new bird for New Zealand – buff-breasted sandpiper

  • Buff-breasted sandpiper, South Kaipara Head, March 2014. Image: © Ian Southey
  • Buff-breasted sandpiper page on New Zealand Birds Online
  • Buff-breasted sandpiper, South Kaipara Head. Image: (c) Ian Southey
  • Buff-breasted sandpiper, South Kaipara Head. Image: (c) Ian Southey

On 20 March 2014, Helen Smith and Gwenda Pulham had nearly completed bird surveys for the day when they saw a bird that was unfamiliar to them. The two members of Birds New Zealand (a.k.a. the Ornithological Society of New Zealand) had been counting New Zealand dotterels at the bombing range roost at Papakanui Spit,… Read more »