Our volunteers made history. Really.

The photographic record, 17.02.1918, North Island. Adkin, Leslie. Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Te Papa

This summer, we ran a small pilot project, inviting volunteers to help transcribe the diaries of Horowhenua farmer, photographer, tramper, geologist, archaeologist, ethnologist, son, brother, husband and father Leslie Adkin. Thanks to everyone who contributed – the results have surpassed all our expectations. Twenty volunteers have transcribed over eighteen months of hundred-year-old diaries in the last… Read more »

Anthony Hume Whitaker, MNZM (1944–2014) – a tribute

  • Whitaker’s skink (Oligosoma whitakeri), Pukerua Bay, January 1997. Tony Whitaker discovered this species on two islands off Whitianga, and it was subsequently found to occur also at Pukerua Bay north of Wellington (and nowhere else). It was named in honour of Tony by Graham Hardy in 1977. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • McGregor’s skink (Oligosoma macgregori), and Sail Rock viewed from Dragon Mouth Cove, Taranga (Hen Island). Tony Whitaker found McGregor’s skink to be present on Sail Rock during landings there in January 1969 and March 1971. McGregor’s skinks from Sail Rock were translocated to nearby Lady Alice and Whatupuke Islands after Pacific rats were eradicated on both islands. Images: Colin Miskelly
  • Whitaker’s skink (Oligosoma whitakeri), Pukerua Bay, January 1997. Tony Whitaker discovered this species on two islands off Whitianga, and it was subsequently found to occur also at Pukerua Bay north of Wellington (and nowhere else). It was named in honour of Tony by Graham Hardy in 1977. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Tony Whitaker (centre) with Department of Conservation staff Ian Cooksley and Mark Townsend during a ‘pre-rat-eradication’ lizard survey on Kapiti Island, May 1995. Image: Colin Miskelly

Tony Whitaker (or ‘Whit’ to his many friends) was the godfather of modern herpetology in New Zealand. Following more than half a century of fieldwork to the remotest corners of New Zealand, there were few lizard species that he had not seen, nor lizard researchers that he had not cheerfully assisted. Tony’s passion for, and… Read more »

We know what you did this summer!!

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Bart Cox and Jasmine Gibbins spent their summer researching native orchids at Te Papa. Bart and Jasmine are part of a group of seven students from Victoria University of Wellington that were awarded a Summer Research Scholarship co-funded by Te Papa and Victoria University of Wellington. Bart’s research focused on a threatened perching orchid, Drymoanthus flavus, and its… Read more »

Alexis Hunter (1948-2014)

Te Papa is saddened to hear about the death of London-based New Zealand artist Alexis Hunter on 24 February 2014. Three years after completing her studies at the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 1969, Hunter relocated to England and established herself in London. She was an active participant in… Read more »

Hugh Pollen (1851-1912) – the ultimate faceless bureaucrat?

Hugh Pollen was the influential head of New Zealand’s largest government department for 20 years – but what did he look like? Hugh was the son of medical doctor, civil servant and politician Daniel Pollen (1813-96), who was briefly (1875-76) Premier of New Zealand – i.e. the pre-1907 equivalent of Prime Minister. Hugh entered public… Read more »

Updated! Collections Online

Three huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), J.G. Keulemans, circa 1900

Today we’re very pleased to make our new version of Collections Online available. We’ve made it work much better on your smartphone or tablet, while still being really useful on desktop for more in-depth research. We’ve also made the images much bigger, search results clearer, and made it easier for you to follow your own path to objects you… Read more »

Mark Hunt, UFC and the history of broken hands in the Pacific

Mark Hunt's fractured hand

On the 6 December 2013, Auckland born Samoan and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Mark Hunt broke his hand on the head of Antonio Silva.  It was during the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight night, held in Brisbane, Australia. Hunt and Silva’s five round fight was reportedly one of the most… Read more »

Science Live: Expedition Snares Island for teachers

The rugged western cliffs of North-East Iland. Rising to over 120m - 06 Dec 2013. Photo Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.jpg

You may have seen on our blog that our next instalment of Science Live is happening on March 18. This episode will focus on Te Papa scientists’ recent trip to Snares Islands, about 200km south of Fiordland. Science Live is great way for teachers and students to learn about some of the important scientific work… Read more »

Te Papa’s acknowledgement of the Canterbury earthquakes

Te Papa acknowledges that the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 were one of the most significant and devastating events in New Zealand’s history. As such, Te Papa is working actively to preserve the memory and evidence of these traumatic events for future generations, as well as providing direct, expert support to heritage organisations affected. As… Read more »