Te Papa scientists wanted to learn more about the plants on the Snares Islands, which have rarely been studied because the islands are so remote. The plants’ descriptive names tell us a lot about the species. There are tree daisies and Cook’s scurvy grass – and some species so little known that they don’t even… Read more »

Westland Petrels weathering the storm…mostly!

  • Tree fallen in the Westland Petrel colony showing a petrel burrow inspection lid (white object 1/2 buried in the ground) amongst the uprooted roots of the tree. Image Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.
  • Viewed from the screen of the burrow-scope we get a clear view of the petrel chick inside the burrow. Image: Susan Waugh. Copyright Te Papa.
  • A classic sign of petrel activity in the mud-stone of Westland's Punakaiki coast. Birds climbing up the steep terrain make claw-marks in the soft substrate. This bedrock also proves a slippery base for the overlying topsoil, which has slipped off in large areas in and around the Westland Petrel colonies monitored by Te Papa researchers in 2014. Image: Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.
  • A juvenile Westland petrel. We banded all young birds at the study colony, to track their survival to recruitment to the breeding population in 4-5 years time. Image: Susan Waugh, Copyright, Te Papa.

New Zealand has an amazing diversity of seabirds. Around 1/3 of the worlds 348 species are found in New Zealand waters, with a high number of endemic and threatened species among them. Te Papa has a long-term research programme on Westland Petrels, a species that nests in the coastal cliffs near Punakaiki, on the West… Read more »

A student’s personal response to Colin McCahon

Robert Burrowes's personal response to Colin McCahon's Walk (Series C)

Earlier this year over 60 visual art and art history students from Wellington region colleges attended a study day at Te Papa to learn about Colin McCahon. To open the day, Te Papa curator Rebecca Rice gave students an overview of McCahon’s life and outlined main themes in his work. Students then took part in workshops led by… Read more »

Hip hop was here…from Day 1

Hip hop battle at the Hip Hop Hut

November was World Hip Hop History Month 2014. It was celebrated at Te Papa by Family Fun: Aotearoa Hip Hop 101 with special guest hip hop pioneers KOS 163, Rhys B and other members of the local hip hop community. The event celebrated 20 years of Wellington hip hop collective Footsouljahs and 30 years since the release… Read more »

Veronika Meduna, presenter of Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World, presented Te Papa’s #squidwatch event. In this blog, she reflects on the experience of presenting such a ‘colossal’ event and the role of museums in effective science communication. It’s been two months since Te Papa’s #squidwatch, a live-streamed event during which scientists had a rare opportunity to examine a… Read more »

The most abundant bird on the Snares Islands is the sooty shearwater (also known as the muttonbird or tītī). Four Te Papa scientists had the daunting task of counting over a million sooty shearwaters on the islands to determine the trends in their population. Watch the video to see how they did it. We wish… Read more »

No Mo December

Old Spice set

Put those moustache cups away for another year, and splash on some bracing aftershave. Here are some shaving related items in Te Papa’s collections to inspire you Movember-ites to lather up and remove the moustaches you have tended over the last month. What about this shaving mug for the politically-minded moustache-remover, below. It features an illustration of the… Read more »

William H. Macey – making a fine art of studio portrait photography

640

I’ve said in a previous blog post that Blenheim photographer William Macey’s cabinet cards elevated the format to an art form. So I thought I had better demonstrate my point by putting together a blog of some of his best studio portraits from those in Te Papa’s photography collection. What I admire about these portraits from his… Read more »

Little penguins foraging during chick-rearing in Wellington

  • sadfds
  • Logger attachment in action for a little penguin, showing the tape sticking to the underside of back feathers, the logger (black object on the handler's knee). Image Ruth Hendry, Copyright Te Papa.
  • A little penguin is measured to assess the length of its beak with calipers during logger attachment. Image Ruth Hendry, Copyright Te Papa.
  • Palliser Bay and the waters outside of Wellington Harbour heads, and area used by many seabirds in New Zealand, and commonly by little penguins from Wellington harbour breeding sites. Image Susan Waugh, Copyright Te Papa.

The work on little penguins around Wellington continues, now that most of the nesting pairs have one or two chicks to feed. This week Te Papa scientists and helpers from various disciplines on the Te Papa staff have been putting out loggers on the chick-rearing penguins, both in Evan’s Bay and Day’s Bay. Our previous… Read more »

Zine-making student workshops with Kerry Ann Lee

Close up of student's zine art work, Wellington College

Te Papa recently commissioned local artist Kerry Ann Lee to make a new work for the light boxes in the Whare Toi / Art Studio space in Nga Toi / Arts Te Papa on level 5.  Her work Knowledge on a beam of  starlight  is conceived of as ‘The Incredible Dream Zine Machine’ – and invites visitors… Read more »