Conservator Linda Waters, and her colleague Tijana Cvetkovic, have been helping Bronwyn Holloway-Smith of the Mural Search and Recovery Project investigate whether a 1960s mural by Mervyn E Taylor called  ‘First Kumara Planting’ ’ is still intact, hidden under white paint in the old Soil Bureau building in Taita. The story so far In my previous… Read more »

A ‘Raphael’ just for you this Christmas

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Mark Stocker, Curator International Historical Art, shares a Christmas delight with you: Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia, the Palazzo Pitti original and the Whanganui copy… Michelangelo and Raphael are the Lennon and McCartney of the High Renaissance. Michelangelo – edgy, original and obviously brilliant, Raphael – beautiful, sweeter and keener to please. It’s like ‘Help’ and… Read more »

The ‘It’s a Bug’s Life’ science education resource is here!

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After 2 years of dedicated mahi (work), we are proud to share with you the It’s a Bug’s Life science education resource for ECE and Primary. Download the It’s a Bug’s Life resource This resource helps kaiako (educators – including those in the community and at home) to engage in science with young children (aged… Read more »

An inordinate fondness for weevils

  • Flax weevil, islet off Anchor Island, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Flax weevil, Shag Islands, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Lyall’s carrot (Anisotome lyallii), Seal Islands, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Punui weevil (Hadramphus stilbocarpae), Snares Islands. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

When did you last get excited about finding a weevil? They get a lot of bad press as pests of crops and stored food, but finding two rare weevil species was one of the highlights of a recent Te Papa expedition to Dusky Sound in Fiordland. Protected species I first learnt about some of New… Read more »

Kiwi culinary history from Aunt Daisy to Hudson and Halls

Aunt Daisy, also known as Maud Ruby Basham. New Zealand Free Lance : Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-046733-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23043179

Inspired by a trip to see Hudson and Halls Live! at Hannah Playhouse, history curator Katie Cooper decided to find out more about Hudson and Halls, and other key figures in New Zealand’s culinary history. Using various communication platforms to demonstrate their craft, these individuals combined skill and charm to inform, empower, and entertain their audiences,… Read more »

Collecting the Standing Rock protest and why it’s important

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A protest movement you might have heard about, which I’ve been following closely, is the protest occupation against the North Dakota pipeline at Standing Rock in the United States. The Dakota Access Pipeline (represented online by the hashtag #NODAPL No Dakota Access Pipeline) has prompted protests across the United States as well as expressions of solidarity… Read more »

Whale tales from Dusky Sound: Nice smile, pity about the breath!

  • Time to move on into the sunset. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Warts and all. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Pe Papa
  • Water spout in Dusky Sound. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Boat inspection by one of the humpback whales. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.

A Te Papa research team travelled to Dusky Sound: photographer Jean-Claude recalls a surprise encounter with bad-breathed whales. 15 November 2016. We had made good progress since leaving Doubtful Sound on the Southern Winds, the DOC boat that supports conservation programmes around southern New Zealand. We were now sailing past the tip of the Five… Read more »

Conflicted loyalties: Berry Boys conscripted for war

  • Portrait of Cecil Theobald Coate, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.046296)
  • Portrait of Jack Langley Braddock, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.044362)
  • Portrait of Herbert James Freeman with Marguerita Freeman and baby Zena, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045581)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

History curator Kirstie Ross explores the stories of four ‘Berry Boys’ who were conscripted in the first and second conscription ballots 100 years ago. In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. Conscription was… Read more »

The petrels of Dusky Sound

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  • Broad-billed prion chick, Seal Islands, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Mottled petrel in spotlight beam, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl
  • Mottled petrel, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Have you ever wondered which New Zealand bird was the first to be given a published scientific name? The unlikely answer is the broad-billed prion, named as ‘Procellaria vittata’ by a 22-year-old Georg Forster in 1777. The second species was the little penguin (as ‘Aptenodytes minor’) named by Georg’s father, Reinhold Forster, four years later…. Read more »

Dusky Sound – rich in history and wildlife

  • Mottled petrel, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa
  • Flax weevil (Anagotus fairburni), Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa
  • Adult tawaki / Fiordland crested penguin, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Kakapo on Anchor Island, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa

A team of Te Papa scientists recently visited Dusky Sound as the first stage in an investigation of changes in biodiversity since Cook’s visit in 1773. Cook named the area ‘Dusky Bay’ when he sailed past on his first voyage in March 1770, and explored the sound and its wildlife more thoroughly during a 6-week… Read more »