Help us make discoveries

Garden two-spined spider, Poecilopachus australasia. Auckland. rfdawn CC BY-NC

Interested in the ‘outdoors’? Want to learn more about the animals and plants around you? Want to make discoveries? Perhaps even find a new species? Want to help (1) Te Papa with its scientific research and (2) New Zealand better understand and manage its biodiversity? Sounds like the citizen science projects accompanying the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition… Read more »

Fossil Bonanza Reveals the History of New Zealand’s Animals

Okarito brown kiwi. Okarito, June 2002. Photographer: Alan Tennyson © Te Papa

When did kiwi and tuatara arrive in New Zealand and how did they get here?  These are the kinds of questions being answered by some amazing fossil discoveries that have been made in Otago in the last few years. I’ve been part of a team of researchers visiting fossil sites around St Bathans since 2001. … Read more »

Standout uniforms in Air New Zealand exhibition

NAC inofrm, 1976. Archives New Zealand (AEPK 20231 W2774 Box 12)

A gallery that acts as an air bridge featuring uniforms is a stylish nostalgia trip at the beginning of Air New Zealand 75 years: Our nation. The world. Connected. The latest Trelise Cooper designed uniform begins the walk back through time, and the first military inspired uniforms worn in the 1940s take pride of place… Read more »

Miniature Hikes: a public art installation in celebration of Wellington’s wild places.

  • Crystal Hut, Aro Valley. Photo: Lara Shepherd.
  • Crystal Hut, Aro Valley. Photo: Lara Shepherd.
  • The logbook for the Mt Victoria Hut is on a pulley system under the hut.
  • Robin Hut, Red Rocks, hunkering down against the weather. Photo: Lara Shepherd.

If you want to get outside this summer and explore Wellington’s wild places then consider visiting the miniature huts created for the public art project Miniature Hikes. This series of public sculptures are hidden in some of Wellington’s most scenic spots including Red Rocks, Matiu Somes Island and Mt Albert. Local artists Kemi Whitwell and Niko Leyden of Kemi Niko… Read more »

Pacific Cultures ‘Storeroom Selfies’ 2014

Hawaiian researchers, artists and staff from the Bishop Museum, Hawaii.

It has been a busy year for the Pacific Cultures team. We have had people from around the world visit the Pacific Cultures collection storeroom from Wellington hip hop pioneers to weavers and carvers from Niue. Each visit has helped to connect communities with our collection and on many occasions our visitors have offered new insights… Read more »

Photography and Te Papa in 2014

O.31243 Bill Gamble & his festive bottle

I have a confession: I am a bit of a vampire of sorts. I feed on Te Papa’s Photography collection – I use it to think and process ideas, to research and to write. Over the last year I have focused on what I believe counts: connections between photography and small stories about people and places, especially in the… Read more »

A Princess’s present for Chrismas

Princess Mary's gift box 1914

The war that erupted in Europe in August 1914 was supposed to over by Christmas that year. This confident view did not stop Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V (he appears on the poster below) and Queen Mary, from initiating a scheme to distribute Christmas gifts to the British forces fighting far from… Read more »

Christmas cake cuties

santa cake decoration

Not everyone loves traditional Christmas cake, but what’s not to love about these cute Christmas cake decorations? These miniature Santas are part of a collection of cake decorations associated with the Wellington bakery and coffee house Konditorei Aida. They would be more at home on a white iced, firm rich fruit cake, rather than on… Read more »

Tangle ferns untangled

The undersides of the four species of Gleichenia tangle fern accepted for New Zealand. From top: alpine tangle fern, Gleichenia alpina; tangle fern, waewae-kötuku, Gleichenia dicarpa; pitted tangle fern, Gleichenia inclusisora; carrier tangle, matua-rarauhe, Gleichenia microphylla. Scale bar = 2 cm. Composite image © Te Papa.

A focus for my research in 2014 has been preparing an account on the Gleicheniaceae fern family for the online Flora of New Zealand. More on the revolutionary online Flora of New Zealand. The Gleicheniaceae in New Zealand comprises nine species in the genera Dicranopteris (one species, restricted to central North Island thermal areas), Gleichenia… Read more »