Follow citizen science biodiversity discoveries

I get a daily email from NatureWatch NZ listing the New Zealand observations of ferns added that day. This is an easy way to check for observations that are relevant to my research and/or that I can help identify.

Botrychium australe, parsley fern. Image Mike Lusk CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1366930

NatureWatch NZ is a citizen science website for recording New Zealand’s biodiversity. Many tens of observations are added each day, covering all kinds of life. NatureWatch NZ homepage. The quantity of new observations might seem overwhelming if you’re actually just interested in a particular group – perhaps you: are studying echinoderms, want to share your… Read more »

Tony Whincup, photographer, 1944–2015

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We learnt with sorrow and regret that photographer and educator Tony Whincup passed away recently. Tony photographed periodically in the remote islands of the Pacific nation of Kiribati over four decades, creating an extensive photographic documentation of its people and their culture. Te Papa purchased 47 of Tony’s photographs on Kiribati dance in 2005, and at the time of… Read more »

The tale of Snarge

Snarge bits and pieces. Photo by Jonathon Kelso

During the early development of the DeClassified! exhibition we had a lot of conversations with Te Papa scientists about potential objects and narratives that would do the job of explaining that Te Papa does, in fact, do science. It’s sort of my job during this phase to think like a person without much science knowledge,… Read more »

Happy Birthday Air New Zealand – Let’s Eat Cake!

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Seventy-five years ago today, the first scheduled passenger service from Auckland to Sydney on flying boat ‘Aotearoa’ ZK-AMA took place. This flight marks the birth of New Zealand’s national airline, originally named TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited), now Air New Zealand. It was piloted by Captain John Burgess and there were just 9 passengers. It’s certainly… Read more »

Were there Pacific Islanders at Gallipoli in 1915?

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The short answer to this question is yes. I raise this topic in this blog as I reflect on the way that Pacific communities in New Zealand are commemorating our ancestors participation in the First World War, and whether we were present during the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula. The Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) forces… Read more »

Fungi season and New Zealand identification resources

Entoloma hochstetteri. Leon Perrie CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1397624

It’s getting cooler and wetter – ideal for the emergence of many fungi. This was brought home to me when I recently discovered an abundance of this distinctive little mushroom while holidaying near Rotorua. New Zealand’s fungal collections and professional expertise are concentrated at the Auckland campus of Landcare Research. The New Zealand Fungal and… Read more »

Visual language workshop for teachers

  • Teachers stepping into landscapes and going on imaginative journeys
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Last weekend primary and intermediate teachers from the Wellington region enjoyed taking part in a professional development workshop about visual language. Visual language is the language of images. Learning about visual language enables students to understand how visual elements such as shapes, colours, symbols etc. are combined to communicate meaning. During the workshop participants learnt a variety of approaches for teaching their students the skills… Read more »

NZ’s WWI hospital ship and Annie’s autographs

Maheno signature embroidery, 1915. Te Papa

This embroidered cloth was created on the New Zealand hospital ship Maheno as it steamed its way north to Egypt in July and August 1915. The words stitched on it are actually the signatures of the ship’s staff and crew. Two weeks ago this Te Papa object was placed into its display case in Gallipoli:… Read more »

The Gallery of Helen Hitchings – mixing the modern – art and design

‘Helen Hitchings inspecting a self -portrait on display in her Gallery’, circa 1950, by Photo News Ltd (Wellington, N.Z.). Te Papa (CA000124/001/0060)

When Helen Hitchings launched her gallery in 1949, it was a landmark moment for modernism in New Zealand. Te Papa celebrates this event with the exhibition in Ngā Toi /Arts Te Papa with the Gallery of Helen Hitchings. Former advertising assistant and theatre designer, Hitchings had established her dealer gallery in a converted warehouse space… Read more »

Relics from Gallipoli

  • A Turkish attacker’s perspective of the crest of Chunuk Bair looking up towards the Chunuk Bair cemetery on the eastern slopes. (David Pugsley)
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  • 1914 Australian Shilling, loaned by David Pugsley. Photograph by Norm Heke, Te Papa.
  • A view towards the Anzac area from Battleship Hill with the monument at Lone Pine in the distance. Photo by David Pugsley.

In our latest Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition blog, Historical Director Dr Christopher Pugsley recalls uncovering relics from the battlefield. I have walked the Anzac battlefields of Gallipoli many times. The first was in December 1980 and then again in 1983. It was not until 1990 that I travelled there for the third time,… Read more »