Wed Aug 5: what war?

New Zealand’s Governor, Lord Liverpool, announced the state of war with Germany under the central arch on the steps of Parliament (see above) on 5 August 1914. People assembled there to hear the news responded with ‘a cheer that displayed the tense emotions of the crowd…Hats and hands were raised in the air, but the… Read more »

Commemorating WW1: New Zealand Post’s five-year stamp and coin programme

Silver Proof Coin – The Announcement of War. Courtesy New Zealand Post

New Zealand Post has chosen to mark the centennial of the First World War with a five-year stamp and coin programme, which is being launched tonight at Te Papa. Each year’s issue will look at the key events of that year, and the impact of the war on those New Zealanders who served and those… Read more »

Cook Islands language week 2014

This week is Cook Islands language week 2014. The theme for the week is ‘Te Rakei o Toku Iti-Tangata’ – Our language and our culture are the foundation of who we are. Looking after cultural treasures is a significant part of Te Papa’s role in the community. We have a responsibility to look after and develop… Read more »

Kaitiaki project for Matariki in StoryPlace!

  • Kaitiaki of my fish
  • Kaitiaki of sea creatures
  • Kaitiaki of my bike
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There has been an awesome collaborative project happening in StoryPlace as part of our Matariki programme! The response has been absolutely huge! With kaitiakitanga (guardianship) as our theme for 2014, we wanted to give tamariki (children) and their whānau (family and friends) the opportunity to acknowledge, discuss and share the role they play in caring for the people,… Read more »

Haere rā OurSpace

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On Sunday we’ll be saying goodbye to our multimedia exhibition OurSpace to make room for the next exciting step towards Te Papa’s flagship exhibition commemorating 100 years since WWI. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed images and videos to OurSpace, which opened in 2008. More than 10,000 images and videos were provided so they could be… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

Common plant names for Māori Language Week

  • Whauwhaupaku is readily recognised by its leaves with (usually) five stalked leaflets. It is common in the North Island, and extends into the South Island, with a southern limit around Dunedin. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Tarata is a widespread tree that is also common in cultivation, because of its fast growth and lemon-scented flowers. The leaves, when crushed, also smell of lemon. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Tawhai trees dominate much of New Zealand’s remaining forests, being adapted to cold (or dry) conditions. If you want to be more specific, tawhairaunui can be used for red and hard beech, and tawhairauriki for black and mountain beech. The photo shows silver beech, known simply as tawhai. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Porokaiwhiri is a common and widespread small tree. Photo © Leon Perrie.

For many of New Zealand’s indigenous plants, the Māori name is the ‘common’ name, and English names are rarely, if ever, used; think rimu, tōtara, kauri, pōhutukawa, and mamaku. Other species have both Māori and English names, but it is the latter that is predominant, at least in my experience. Below are some such examples… Read more »

The Berry Boys: Hot off the press (well almost)

  • Berry Boys - available from all good books stores come August.
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This coming August marks a climax of Te Papa’s Berry Boys soldier identification project, with the screening of a documentary on seven of the soldiers on TVNZ in early August (details to come), and the launch of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Te Papa Press. The latter brings all of the soldier portraits… Read more »