New Zealand’s favourite bird

  • Kakapo - out of sight, but not completely out of mind. Image: Dylan van Winkel, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Eastern rosella - the most-viewed introduced species on New Zealand Birds Online. Image: Josie Galbraith, New Zealand Birds Online
  • The North Island brown kiwi was the most viewed kiwi species, but was only the 32nd most viewed species. Image: Rod Morris (Department of Conservation), New Zealand Birds Online
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Have you ever wondered what is New Zealand’s favourite bird? Forest & Bird ask this question annually, but their ‘Bird of the Year’ competition is skewed by the unashamed lobbying of passionate bird lovers, along with alleged multiple voting, leaving us none the wiser as to what is our true national favourite. The New Zealand Birds… Read more »

Teaching the teachers – an inspirational landscape art workshop

  • Artist Gerda Leenards. Photographer - Helen Lloyd. © Te Papa
  • Chelsea Nichols and teachers viewing Colin McCahon's Walk Series C in Nga Toi | Art Te Papa. Photographer - Helen Lloyd. © Te Papa
  • Rebecca Rice and teachers in Nga Toi | Art Te Papa. Photographer - Helen Lloyd © Te Papa
  • Teachers using oil paints in the landscape art professional development workshop.

What do Colin McCahon, Shi Lu, Petrus Van Der Velden and Gerda Leenards have in common? They are all landscape artists whose work were studied in a recent teacher workshop here at Te Papa. In the education team we love giving a little back to all those hard working teachers, by offering fun and inspirational… Read more »

“Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira” exhibition opening soon!

Ngāti Toa logo

Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, the next iwi exhibition at Te Papa, is opening on the 14th June.   As we work up to the final two weeks before opening, it’s time to catch our breath for a minute and appreciate the hard work and talent that has gone into creating… Read more »

Win a copy of The Trekka Dynasty! Share your story of Trekka.


Here journalist Todd Niall explains how his interest in the Trekka brought him into contact with New Zealand artist Michael Stevenson. On Thursday 26 June Te Papa hosts a talk by Todd who discusses the Trekka – the vehicle and the art work. In conjunction with his talk Te Papa is running a competition, find out… Read more »

The Moon: Getting up Close

Moon through GMT Sept 1873

“For thousands of years man has gazed up at the moon and wondered.” That’s roughly how those worthy documentary commentaries begin, isn’t it? Well, Te Papa’s forerunner museums responded to this curiosity in two acquisitions almost 100 years apart. The first was an 1873 photograph of the moon made by the Great Melbourne Telescope (GMT). This was one… Read more »

Samoan tatau: a tufuga begins his work…

“Taofi mau i au measina: Hold fast to your treasures” is the theme for Sämoan language week 2014. We hope you have followed our tweets and Instagrams over the last few days. To close off this week we look at tatau (tattooing) – one of Samoa’s most well known cultural treasures. This is an excerpt from an… Read more »

Satellites of Love?

Sputnik 1. National Museum of USAF.

In October 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first human-made spacecraft, Sputnik I. The USA had already announced that it would be launching a satellite and so existing plans for an elaborate device were quickly ditched by the Soviets to get something up in space first. Sputnik was simply a metal sphere with a radio… Read more »

Shi Lu: The Literatus vs. the Revolutionary

Shi Lu, Horses drinking at Yan River – study from nature, 1960, ink and mineral pigments, Beijing: National Museum of China, Gift of Shi Lu’s family 2012

This Friday at 12.30, Professor Yiyan Wang, a specialist of modern Chinese art will share her insights to the work of Shi Lu currently on show at Te Papa. She provides some thoughts on his art in the following blog. Te Papa Museum is currently showing the paintings and calligraphy of Shi Lu. Who is… Read more »