Posts categorized as Museums

Travels with Betsy – exploring the world of albatross personality

  • A discussion in the field hut around the days activities. Betsy was a keen contributor to how we developed our testing regime. Left to right: Research assistants Tim Poepart, Julien Collet and CNRS researcher Dr Samantha Patrick. Image: Susan Waugh; Copyright: Te Papa.
  • Samantha Patrick, CNRS research repairs Betsy after a particularly intense interaction with a 'bold' albatross. Image: Susan Waugh; Copyright: Te Papa.
  • A birds with a more 'bold' response to meeting Betsy, clacks its bill and grumbles as Betsy is pulled away. Image: Susan Waugh. Copyright: Te Papa.
  • Research assistant Julien Collet presents Betsy to an unsuspecting albatross on the nest. Photo: Susan Waugh. Copyright: Te Papa.

Do albatrosses have personalities? And if so, how do scientists measure such intangible characteristics? This blog provides some of the background to research Te Papa scientists were involved in, examining how birds use their environment, and how individual personality traits of these birds can be measured. The previous blogs on this topic can be accessed here…. Read more »

Westland Petrels weathering the storm…mostly!

  • Tree fallen in the Westland Petrel colony showing a petrel burrow inspection lid (white object 1/2 buried in the ground) amongst the uprooted roots of the tree. Image Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.
  • Viewed from the screen of the burrow-scope we get a clear view of the petrel chick inside the burrow. Image: Susan Waugh. Copyright Te Papa.
  • A classic sign of petrel activity in the mud-stone of Westland's Punakaiki coast. Birds climbing up the steep terrain make claw-marks in the soft substrate. This bedrock also proves a slippery base for the overlying topsoil, which has slipped off in large areas in and around the Westland Petrel colonies monitored by Te Papa researchers in 2014. Image: Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.
  • A juvenile Westland petrel. We banded all young birds at the study colony, to track their survival to recruitment to the breeding population in 4-5 years time. Image: Susan Waugh, Copyright, Te Papa.

New Zealand has an amazing diversity of seabirds. Around 1/3 of the worlds 348 species are found in New Zealand waters, with a high number of endemic and threatened species among them. Te Papa has a long-term research programme on Westland Petrels, a species that nests in the coastal cliffs near Punakaiki, on the West… Read more »

Shooting the Past – the photographic archive as subject

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    Recently I’ve been watching a BBC TV mini series about a doomed photography archive – Shooting the Past. The series was released in 1999 and I don’t know how I missed seeing it then but I was busy writing a dissertation on colonial photography (or maybe it didn’t even get played on TV here). The show… Read more »

Kāhui Rāranga The Art of Tukutuku: New Zealand’s Heart at the United Nations

Tukutuku panels in the Kahui Raranga: The Art of tukutuku exhibition. Photographer: Norm Heke © Te Papa

This morning Te Papa farewelled the exhibition of tukutuku panels which are to be installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York early next year. The woven panels, which have been on display at Te Papa since July, were commissioned by former Minister of Māori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples following his visit to the… Read more »

Recent acquisition – ambrotype of a couple in front of a wall

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There is so much to admire about this beautiful ambrotype recently acquired for Te Papa’s photography collection – look at the couple’s cheeks touched up by hand in pink, their jewellery and clothing. I also like that the couple are posed in front of the photographer’s studio interior wall fitted with a dado rail (centre behind the couple’s chests) and panel… Read more »

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014): An Appreciation

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014), 2009 (Michael Hall, Te Papa)

By the Art Curators at Te Papa: Sarah Farrar, Athol McCredie, Lissa Mitchell, Chelsea Nichols, Justine Olsen, Rebecca Rice, Mark Stocker and Megan Tamati-Quennell The recent passing of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, CNZM, (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kurī, Te Aopōuri, Pākehā), the national museum’s Head of Arts & Visual Culture, leaves not only Te Papa but the wider art… Read more »

Colossal New Addition to Te Papa’s Scientific Collections

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  • Jar and pail storage at Te Papa's collections facility. Photo: Rick Webber, Copyright Te Papa.
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Today we’ve been hearing about the most recent addition to Te Papa’s scientific collections, a new colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. We’re playing host to a dozen or so media representatives as well as our own live-streaming film crew, who are following intently the activity of five visiting squid scientists from AUT, led by Dr Kat… Read more »

Young children respond to China: Throne of Emperors and Shi Lu: A revolution in paint

Lanterns by Tai Tamariki Kindergarten

Tai Tamariki Kindergaten have written this great article for the forthcoming ecARTnz magazine about their creative response to the two China exhibitions held recently at Te Papa. Our curators, Rebecca Rice and Justine Olsen were both blown away by the children’s work. I am sure you will be too! Tai Tamariki Kindergarten is currently awash with colour… Read more »

Helen Mason (1915-2014)

Helen Mason, Dish, stoneware with slip decoration, about 1960. Purchased 1993. Te Papa

It is with sadness that we farewell Helen Mason, potter, first editor of the New Zealand Potter and great friend and mentor of the craft/arts community. Helen Mason’s involvement in the arts, from the early days of the studio pottery movement to her more recent endeavours, has become legendary. Her early training typified education for… Read more »

Makara students go ‘behind the scenes’

The students are shown a white-bellied sea eagle.

Back in July, students from Makara Model School had the chance to meet some Te Papa curators and get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at part of our Natural History collection store. This opportunity came about as part of Science Live: Expedition Snares Island that was broadcast earlier in the year. By asking our scientists a question… Read more »