What was New Zealand’s first fully protected native bird?

  • The March 1885 New Zealand Gazette notice that added white heron and crested grebe to the schedule of native game. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • The tui – New Zealand’s first fully protected native bird. Image: Tony Whitehead, New Zealand Birds Online
  • White heron and crested grebe – both fully protected nationwide since 1888. Images: Glenda Rees and Craig McKenzie, New Zealand Birds Online
  • The huia was one of New Zealand’s first fully protected species (in 1892), but this was not enough to save it from extinction. Image: Te Papa

I suspect that this is a question that few people have given much thought to. The answer should be as much a part of our conservation heritage as our first national park (Tongariro, 1887). The national park answer can be found in many conservation reference books and websites, but few authors have attempted to name… Read more »

Are wingless fliers Nature’s best hitchhikers?

Left: A louse-fly carries a hitchhiking louse from a Japanese crow, attached to one of the fly’s abdominal hairs. Right: detail of same louse. Photos by Rokuro Kano, Tokyo, Japan. © Rokuro Kano

by Ricardo L. Palma, Curator of Terrestrial Invertebrates Evolving without wings, humans dreamed about flying for thousands of years… but only just over 100 years ago they invented a heavier-than-air machine which could fly and take them to the skies. However, long long ago, natural evolution had already provided the opportunity to fly to creatures… Read more »

Recent acquisitions – cabinet card photographs

burrell

I am quite fond of some of the new photographs in the collection which are a set of cabinet card format studio portraits from the late nineteenth century. Many of them were taken by photographers working in the South Island in places such as Lyttelton, Ashburton, Gore and Blenheim. I’m interested in the way these… Read more »

“Photoised”: Bicycle portraits in the Cook Islands

  • Portrait of a female cyclist, circa 1914, Cook Islands. Crummer, George. Te Papa
  • Rarotongan Coffee Palace , circa 1914, Cook Islands. Crummer, George. Te Papa
  • Family group portrait, circa 1914, Cook Islands. Crummer, George. Te Papa
  • Family group, circa 1910, Cook Islands. Crummer, George. Te Papa

Last year to celebrate Cook Islands Māori Language week, Grace Hutton (Collection Manager Pacific Cultures) wrote a blog about photographer George Robson Crummer who resided in the Cook Islands from 1890. Read Grace’s blog here  http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2013/08/07/picturing-the-cook-islands-george-crummer-cook-islands-language-week-2013/ Te Papa has over 240 items from Crummer including 227 black and white negatives some of which are badly… Read more »

All That Remains: WWI objects in New Zealand museum collections

ATR-BANNER-PRINT 350

We’re very excited to introduce All That Remains: WWI objects in New Zealand museum collections | He Waihotanga Iho mai i te Pakanga Tuatahi – www.allthatremains.net.nz In July, the world marks the centenary of the beginning of World War I (WWI). New Zealand’s museums hold many memories of wartime through the objects in their collections…. Read more »

Objets trouvés : Signs of humanity at Ohinau Island.

  • Locations in coromandel
  • A shard of glas, with one bevelled edge found at the site of the old light-house in the South of Ohinau Island. Photo: Susan Waugh. Copyright: Te Papa.
  • rabbit rather dead
  • Sharp, and apparently worked pieces of stone found on the shearwater colonies at Ohinau Island. Photos: Susan Waugh, Copyright, Te Papa.

Recent work on Ohinau Island, Coromandel reinforced for me how fine the boundary is between the sciences. We were working on the biology of shearwaters nesting at an important historical site for Ngati Hei, an iwi from the eastern Coromandel. The island has been inhabited in the past, and was an important food gathering site… Read more »

Watching goldfish in the nude: Thomas Benjamin Kennington’s Idlesse

T. B. Kennington, Idle Hours (The Goldfish Bowl

Is the painting Idlesse by Thomas Benjamin Kennington (1856–1916) a late Victorian time-bomb, which would have delighted intellectual guru Michel Foucault, author of The History of Sexuality? Or is it an unjustly overlooked, chaste, white masterpiece, a victim of prudery and puritanism in its lack of exposure since its acquisition by the New Zealand Academy… Read more »

One week to talk on the Trekka

Martin Trekka Trekka 003

On Thursday 26 June Te Papa hosts a talk by journalist Todd Niall who discusses the Trekka – the vehicle and the art work. In the run up to the talk we’re collecting memories of the Trekka vehicle – good and bad. What did you think of it? Email your recollections, opinions, anecdotes or even… Read more »

Her Majesty’s bloomers

Bloomers front

Among the many treasures in the textiles collection at Te Papa there is one very large pair of drawers (or bloomers). These drawers were owned by Queen Victoria. After her death in 1901, Queen Victoria’s underwear was distributed to members of the Royal Household. This particular pair was owned by Lady Louisa Seddon, wife of… Read more »