Posts written by Lynette Townsend

Queer History Month

Headdress, mid 1970s, Wellington, by Frank Lund. Purchased 2003. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH014470)

September is New Zealand Queer History Month and a great opportunity to celebrate the LGBTI histories represented in Te Papa’s collection. So over the next few weeks we’re aiming to showcase queer related objects and stories through Instagram and blogs. My first example is a headdress and gown hand-made by cross-dressing performer Frank Lund. They are classic… Read more »

30 years on! Evergreen collages pay tribute to LGBTI rights and homosexual law reform

The signing of the Homosexual Law Reform Act on the 11 July 1986 was a pivotal moment in the fight for equality and human rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. The Act decriminalised sexual relations between gay men 16 years and over, but it was also hugely important in terms of the ongoing… Read more »

Collecting mothers

  • Teina and Marama relaxing at home in 2015. Photograph by Norm Heke, Te Papa, 2015
  • Teina Davidson on a march to save the Māuis dolphin in 2014
  • Mikaere Haumaha with his mum, and with Maama in the garden. Photo by Norm Heke, Te Papa, 2015
  • Mikaere with parents Kim / Kimmi and Anaru or Andrew Haumaha, Nana Haumaha.

Collecting Childhood is a Te Papa project focused on children growing up in New Zealand today, but it’s not just about the kids. They are central, and the aim is to represent their daily lives and key moments through objects, photographs, and their ongoing stories, but also of interest are their families and mothers. Mother’s… Read more »

Calling all My Little Pony addicts

Tanya Marriott with Firefly. Photo: Kate Whitley, Te Papa.

Over the following six months, My Little Pony collector Tanya Marriott will be sharing her passion, and knowledge about her collection with us. Part of Tanya’s collection is currently on display at Te Papa in the Inspiration Station Discovery Centre on Level 4. My Little Pony has been around for thirty three years, and there are a large… Read more »

  Last week a small dazzling selection of headdresses belonging to Carmen Rupe (1936 – 2011), went on display at Te Papa. Carmen was a legendary transgender performer and brothel owner – the headwear represents her more flamboyant side.   Each headdress is part of an ensemble, specially selected by Carmen for Te Papa’s history collection…. 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 »

Happy Birthday Air New Zealand – Let’s Eat Cake!


Seventy-five years ago today, the first scheduled passenger service from Auckland to Sydney on flying boat ‘Aotearoa’ ZK-AMA took place. This flight marks the birth of New Zealand’s national airline, originally named TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited), now Air New Zealand. It was piloted by Captain John Burgess and there were just 9 passengers. It’s certainly… Read more »