The children from Tai Tamariki Kindergarten really enjoy visiting Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa! A favourite exhibition last season was New Zealand Photography Collected – one of the largest showing of photography collections here at Te Papa. The exhibition was based on the recent book of the same name, written by our Curator Photography, Athol McCredie. This… Read more »

The Battle of the Somme, September 1916: survival and loss


Guest blogger and long-serving, recently retired Te Papa history curator Michael Fitzgerald introduces the Battle of the Somme, and one man who survived the ferocious fighting that occurred there 100 years ago and another – one of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ – who lost his life. As visitors leave Gallipoli: The scale of our war… Read more »

Special screening: The Battle of the Somme

Black and white photo of William Keith Berry

This year marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The British High Commission, in partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington City Council, Ticketek New Zealand present a special screening of the internationally acclaimed film “The Battle of the Somme”.

Photos to see in 100 years?


What will make people want to look at a photo in 100 years time? Which ones will people be interested in? These were questions we posed to visitors of the exhibition New Zealand Photography Collected that was recently shown as part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on level 5 at Te Papa. We… Read more »

One of the Good Guys: Phantom Shields in Papua New Guinea

Shield (painted with the Phantom character), maker unknown. Purchased 2015. Te Papa (FE013020)

Deep in the jungle of Bangalla lives a masked comic-strip marvel known as the Phantom, a guardian of the innocent who fights against the destruction of injustice. His powerful feats, which stretch over four hundred years, earned him the alias of the ‘Ghost Who Walks’ and the ‘Man who Never Dies’. Despite his perceived immortality,… Read more »

Adorn yourself in Ngā Toi|Arts Te Papa!

Adorn yourself! Photograph by Carmel Russell, © Te Papa

The Learning Innovation team are very excited about the new activities featuring in Te Whare Toi in this upcoming season of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa. We have been playing around with the wonderful range of dress-ups for ‘Adorn yourself!’ in the office this afternoon. This activity relates to the exhibitions European Splendour 1500—1800 and… Read more »

Queer History Month

Headdress, mid 1970s, Wellington, by Frank Lund. Purchased 2003. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH014470)

September is New Zealand Queer History Month and a great opportunity to celebrate the LGBTI histories represented in Te Papa’s collection. So over the next few weeks we’re aiming to showcase queer related objects and stories through Instagram and blogs. My first example is a headdress and gown hand-made by cross-dressing performer Frank Lund. They are classic… Read more »

Gully fern, a common New Zealand fern now in the eFloraNZ

Gully fern, pākauroharoha, Pneumatopteris pennigera.  As the colloquial name suggests, gully fern tends to grow in damp, shady places.  It is a medium-sized ground fern.  It can be distinguished from other New Zealand ferns by having its spore capsules clustered in dark circles on the underside of the frond, and the network of dark veins on its thin green fronds.  Photos by Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Gully fern, also called pākauroharoha and Pneumatopteris pennigera, is one of the most common ferns in New Zealand.  You’ll have almost certainly seen it if you’ve ever walked in a New Zealand forest.  It occurs from the north of the North Island to the south of the South Island (although it is absent from much… Read more »

A new microscope: how improved technology is making our work easier

Jean-Claude inspect some specimens under the new macroscope, 2016. Te Papa.

Imaging specialist, Jean-Claude Stahl, has been getting to grips with our new microscope which can take incredibly sharp pictures of shells as tiny as a grain of sand. Being able to take high quality, close-up images, is an important part of our scientist’s role in documenting species from the natural environment. With older technology, this was no… Read more »