Doubling the scale of our war

  • Comparative casulty rate on Gallipoli. Photograph by Kirstie Ross
  • Numbers of NZers landing on Gallipoli. Photograph by Kirstie Ross
  • Sister Lottie Le Gallais. Photograph by Norm Heke
  • Sister Charlotte Le Gallais WWI 22/137 from Archives NZ personnel file

On Monday 21 March, I eagerly read the results of an intensive research project that gives us the clearest indication, to date, of the number of New Zealanders that served on Gallipoli. This research, undertaken by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force, reveals that the total number of New… Read more »

Taste, touch, see, hear and smell – sensory impressions with the Both brothers

1 Both 'Taste'

Among the most recent additions to the art collection is an extraordinary set of etchings representing the five senses. Made by the brothers Jan (c. 1618/22 – 1652) and Andries Both (1611/2 – 1642) at the height of the Dutch Golden Age, these five comic allegories illustrate the senses – taste, touch, sight, sound and… Read more »

Thinking through time – Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past


On Friday March 18 Te Papa opens a new exhibition on Level 6:- Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past. The exhibition draws on contemporary and historic objects from Te Papa and considers how objects can be connected across time. The phrase ‘thinking through time’ relates to an important part of the practices of… Read more »

A new bird for New Zealand – northern fulmar

  • Dark morph northern fulmar, Buldir Island, Alaska. Image: Kyle Morrison, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Pale morph northern fulmar off Lundy, England. Image: Andrew Cleave MBE Nature Photographers Ltd
  • Dark morph northern fulmar east of the Snares Islands, New Zealand, 9 February 2014. First record from the Southern Hemisphere. Image: Leon Berard
  • Antarctic fulmar off Mana Island, New Zealand. Image: Duncan Watson, New Zealand Birds Online

The latest addition to the New Zealand bird list is not a species that anyone expected – and it very nearly got over-looked. Dunedin-based Leon Berard was working as a Ministry for Primary Industries fisheries observer in February 2014, when he photographed a bird that he did not recognise. He was on a squid trawler… Read more »

Margaret Butler: An Invisible Sculptor?


I recently delivered a paper on the New Zealand sculptor Margaret Butler (1883-1947) at the University of Otago conference, ‘Making Women Visible’. Although one or two of her sculptures are occasionally exhibited, she is next to invisible to the wide public, certainly far more obscure than her older contemporary Frances Hodgkins. Yet whenever I see… Read more »

Filmy ferns in the eFloraNZ: Hymenophyllum and Trichomanes

The distinctive kidney fern or Hymenophyllum nephrophyllum is unusual within Hymenophyllum in that the spore capsules sit within a tube.  Indeed, it used to be classified in Trichomanes, as T. reniforme.  However, analyses of DNA sequences have shown kidney fern to be more closely related to Hymenophyllum than Trichomanes.  It is nevertheless evolutionarily isolated within Hymenophyllum. Photo © Leon Perrie.

Filmy ferns add a delicate, enveloping beauty to New Zealand’s forests.  Most are translucent, with fronds only one or a few cells thick.  Most are small, but they can carpet large areas of the ground or be prominent on the trunks of trees. New Zealand is home to 31 species of filmy ferns. That’s nearly… 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 »

How are we looking? Photo sharing gives us a glimpse into how we look

Mount doom covered in snow. Photograph and Instagram post by txnnxr. All rights reserved

Amos Mann, a Digital Content Producer at Te Papa, finds tensions, connections, and conversations within #tepapaphoto, an Instagram photo sharing project currently underway. We love taking photos. We love sharing photos. And now, more easily than ever before, from across town and across the world, we can instantly show each other where we are, what we’re doing,… Read more »

Today is International Women’s Day –  a time to ‘reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.’ This year’s theme is Planet 50-50 by 2030 which envisages ‘a world where all women and… Read more »