Hautere/Solander Island, The Capital of Albatrossness

  • Buller's Albatross flying at sea in a storm near Hautere/Solander Island. Photo Dominique Filippi, Copyright Dominique Filippi
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  • The campsite at the albatross colony on Hautere/Solander Island
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Its probably one of the most rugged small island sites around the Southern Ocean….lacking only a glacier to make it truly inhospitable. No huts, no trees, and best of all, no humans! And yet Hautere/Solander Island has something of a reputation of among seabird researchers. Most of the ones I have encountered, who had been there, said “What would possess… Read more »

Artists’ hands: messages from Chamorro artists of Guåhan


“Slow it down…your minds and hands make it happen.” This is a message that master carver Jill Benavente passes onto to her apprentices as they journey together as artists. Their hands and the hands of many other artists are key tools in the strengthening and decolonising of contemporary indigenous Chamorro culture on Guåhan /Guam. For… Read more »

Hautere/Solander Island – 1933 and 2016 – In the footsteps of Edgar Stead (Part 12)

  • Red-crowned parakeet, Solander Island, May 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Weka, Solander Island, May 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Buller's mollymawk parents and chick, Solander Island, May 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Buller's mollymawks in a gale, viewed from Solander Island, May 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Edgar Stead (1881-1949) was a Canterbury naturalist famous (among other things) for exhuming the enormous Okarito blue whale skeleton now in Canterbury Museum, breeding the Ilam strain of rhododendrons and azaleas, and being an astute observer of New Zealand birds. His magnificent homestead ‘Ilam’ is now the Canterbury University staff club, and was the main… Read more »

There are times in the life of a curator when you see something you would really like to use in an exhibition or publication but have no immediate opportunities. Or you feel that your attraction to it is too personal, and other people wouldn’t feel the same way. So you tuck it away in your… Read more »

Caring for taonga on the Chatham Islands

  • Harvested tree dressed up in wedding tulle. Photograph by Nirmala Balram. © Te Papa
  • Harvested trees going into an insulated container. Photograph by Nirmala Balram. © Te Papa
  • Kōpi trees have very shallow roots. Photograph by Nirmala Balram. © Te Papa
  • Honey fungus is very damaging to the bark. Photograph by Nirmala Balram. © Te Papa

National Services Te Paerangi (NSTP) is a team within Te Papa that provides support and advice for museums, galleries and iwi around New Zealand. You can learn more about what we do on our website. One of NSTP’s services is to facilitate expert assistance for museums and other groups who care for taonga. Since 2010,… Read more »

New sunfish discovered

Marianne Nyegaard, Andrew Stewart and Te Papa intern Etsuro Suwai measuring a specimen of the new sunfish. (Photo Salme Kortet, Te Papa).

Sunfishes (family Molidae) are large, distinctive, oceanic fishes found worldwide. Scientists generally agree there are two species of sunfish – the oceanic sunfish (Mola mola) and the bump-headed or short sunfish (Mola ramsayi). However, recent DNA analyses of sunfish samples collected and sequenced overseas has indicated the presence of a third, undescribed, and previously unknown… Read more »

Creating something Shakespearean: Raymond Boyce and the Globe hangings

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  • Adonis cartoon
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Do you support hangings? I certainly do if we are discussing the four embroidered wall hangings at Shakespeare’s Globe in London’s Bankside, designed by Wellington artist Raymond Boyce and made by over 400 women from North Shore to Southland in 1991. They are Aotearoa New Zealand’s proud gift to Shakespeare’s and a handsome testament to the important place… Read more »

Opinion: Curating for the Contemporary Pacific; 95 theses (New Zealand edition)

In the last six months, the arts and cultures of the Pacific have loomed large in New Zealand and Australia through a range of exhibitions, events and symposia. From Queensland’s Asia Pacific Triennial 8, the ground breaking 2016 Pacific Arts Association Symposium, Tautai’s Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust Arts 30 year exhibition, and the promise of… Read more »

One motif, thirty years of exploration: Jim Geddes on Gordon Walters

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Te Papa’s touring exhibition, Gordon Walters: Koru, is currently being hosted at the Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore (23 April to 6 June), a splendid venue which is affectionately known as the ‘Goreggenheim’! Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, talked to the ebullient District Curator at Eastern Southland, Jim Geddes, about it… MS: Jim, why did you… Read more »