Science Live: Secret World of Ferns – today!


Tune into Science Live: Secret World of Ferns today from 2.00pm. You can watch the livestream on the YouTube player below, or visit Te Papa’s YouTube channel. Get involved! What you would like to know about ferns? You can ask Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany, your questions via: Email: Twitter: using the hashtag #sciencelivetepapa… Read more »

James Brown sits in on a workshop

  • Greg throws a few shapes before Walk (Series C) and a group from Wellington High School. Photographer: Helen Lloyd © Te Papa
  • Visual-poem
  • Art in action. Photographer: Helen Lloyd © Te Papa
  • Students-taking-a-closer-look

James Brown, Writer On 12 and 13 May, writer and artist Gregory O’Brien gave a series of workshops to school groups about collaborations between artists and writers, and the ongoing conversation between art and text. I sat in on one. I work at Te Papa as part of the Writing Team, and, as someone who… Read more »

Alien Power Source Discovered by NZ Photographer?

Cosmo Flying disk IV

If you watched late night television towards the end of the 1960s you might remember the following theatrically pronounced lines: For [architect David Vincent] it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without… Read more »

Matariki Professional Development for Early Years Teachers

  • Woven star shaped whaka huia (treasure containers)
  • Southend Kindergarten's Kaitiaki, Photographer: Donna Hewison, © Southend Kindergarten
  • Story S activity, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • Becoming a superhero

Te Papa Education really values the relationships we have made (and continue to make) with other organisations in and around Wellington, and we are always looking for opportunities to work collaboratively. The celebration of Matariki (Māori New Year) has proven to be a great opportunity to work with the team at Carter Observatory. This year,… Read more »

Hard women


I don’t much like having my portrait taken. The longer the process goes on, and the more expectant I am of a good result, the worse it seems to get. So how much do you have to know about being photographed to get a good portrait? How many times do you need to be photographed before… Read more »

China and Shi Lu in focus this Thursday at Te Papa

  • Shi Lu, 风神兼彩, Strength of character 1973, ink on Chinese paper
  • Shi Lu, 自画像, Self-portrait 1951, pencil drawing, Beijing: National Museum of China, reproduced courtesy of Shi Lu’s family.
  • Shi Lu in Beijing, 1979, photograph, courtesy of Shi Lu’s family
  • Shi Lu produced numerous sketches in preparation for Fighting in Northern Shaanxi, experimenting with the composition, brushstrokes, and palette. Shi Lu, Fighting in Northern Shaanxi, 1959, chinese painting on paper, Beijing: National Museum of China, reproduced courtesy of Shi Lu’s family.

China Lecture and Symposium, Thu 15 May, 2pm–8pm, Te Papa Face to face with Shi Lu Working on the exhibition Shi Lu: A revolution in paint has been a revelation for me. Ever since my Uncle traveled to China in the 1980s, bringing back memorabilia from the Friendship shops, teaching my Nana to play Mah… Read more »

NZ Music Month: ‘Blue Smoke’

While May marks the beginning of winter, it also more cheerfully heralds New Zealand Music Month – that is a 31 day celebration of home-grown talent across the length and breadth of the country. With so much Kiwi music now ‘blasting through our airwaves, soaring off stages, and rumbling out of ludicrously lowered cars at the lights… Read more »

Adding value to old nests

  • South Island kokako. From ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’. Painting by Paul Martinson (original held by Te Papa)
  • A South Island piopio nest in the Te Papa collection (OR.027634). The only information on the label is “Cleddau River, Milford Sound”.
  • Thomas Potts, c.1875, alongside the type specimen of the great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii), which Potts named in 1872. Image 1/2-005225-F, National Library of New Zealand
  • South Island kokako. From ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’. Painting by Paul Martinson (original held by Te Papa)

An enduring frustration for museum curators is being aware of objects or specimens that have little or no acquisition or collection data. This, sadly, is often the case with our oldest natural history specimens. A specimen without data is almost worthless – while an old specimen with good data is almost priceless. It is an… Read more »