The magic of Kaumātua Kapa Haka

Performers at the 2014 New Zealand Post Kaumātua Kapa Haka © Te Papa

Charles Ropitini shares his thoughts on New Zealand Post Kaumātua Kapa Haka The NZ Post Kaumātua Kapa Haka Festival is an annual favourite for many Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington experiencing the magic of Matariki, our indigenous New Year festival. For me personally, it is my favourite weekend of the year. As a child, I… Read more »

Gallipoli: The scale of our war – in poppies

Gallipoli: The scale of our war (c) Te Papa

‘This is very different from the unfeeling and emotionally distant historical coverage of a war. I felt a weight in my lower chest as I learned about the stories and suffering of the people, witnessed their rage and despair sculpted on their faces, and felt the ground tremble under my feet. I was immersed by… Read more »

Registrations now open for Museums and Human Rights Conference, 22-24 September 2015

Conference registrations open This week registrations opened for the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) conference, which is being held at Te Papa this coming September. The three day conference will feature keynote presentations by Professor Richard Sandell from Leicester University, and Dr David Fleming from National Museums Liverpool, alongside a dynamic programme of speakers from New Zealand,… Read more »

A new bird for New Zealand – magpie-lark

  • Further images of the magpie-lark at Gorge Rover. Images courtesy of Robert Long
  • An adult male magpie-lark in flight – one of the most familiar and easy to recognise of all Australian birds. Image: Craig Greer, NZ Birds Online
  • An adult female magpie-lark photographed in Melbourne. Image: Sonja Ross, NZ Birds Online
  • The adult male magpie-lark perched on the roof of the Department of Conservation hut at Gorge River, 29 April 2008. Image: Robert Long

New bird species are added to the New Zealand list on average once every two years. Many of these are vagrants that have been blown (or flown) across the Tasman Sea, with recent examples including Australian reed warbler (2004), straw-necked ibis (2009), Pacific gull (2010) and dusky woodswallow (2014). However, few new arrivals have a… Read more »

WWI case studies of courage and despair

Thirteen unidentified WWI soldiers mending boots at Oatlands Park England,1918

In May this year, Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I closed, after its ten-month-long display at Te Papa. This exhibition, which explored how New Zealand soldiers disabled by World War I were supported to regain their economic independence, included 8 sepia photographs of limbless soldiers demonstrating new work skills they were taught while… Read more »

Collecting childhood: Objects and stories from kiwi kids

Maya Shaw, one of the children in Te Papa’s Collecting childhood project, 2012. Maya donated her favourite dress and an amber bead necklace, shown in the picture. Photograph by Ken Downie. Te Papa

  One thing we all have in common is we’ve all been kids. Some of us still are. But have you ever wondered how your childhood experiences might provide insights into wider society? Studies into childhood provide information about changing ideologies around parenting, social welfare, education, health and wellbeing, as well as more general trends… Read more »

Celebration of personal milestones in the Botany collection

Peter Beveridge using a hand lens to examine a bryophyte specimen, amongst subalpine vegetation.

Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors: Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and… Read more »

Writing Gallipoli: The scale of our war – Part 2

How’s your war slang, cobber? A1 you reckon? Take the Great War Word Quiz Whence comes ‘the top brass’? The etymology of war In my earlier blog, I talked about writing from the soldiers’ perspective and creating our narrator – ‘the grunt’. An unexpected outcome was learning about the origins of many words we use… Read more »

Ko te whānau o Matariki: Matariki Education Resource 2015 – Part 3

Orion and the Milky Way by jpstanley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/79297308@N00/16179230263

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this resource, we were introduced to Matariki and her six daughters – learning how each star plays her own special part in preparing the environments of Papatūānuku for the New Year. In this final section, we will be introducing three of Matariki’s cousins: Puanga/Puaka, Pūtātara and Hine-takurua. Papatūānuku has entrusted these whetū kanapa (bright stars)… Read more »

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!

  • Coates, Isaac. E Ranguera. Rangiahaeta's wife. The woman that was killed at the "Wiaroi". [1843?]. Ref: A-286-015. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • NON-ATL-P-0078 Hills above Tuamarina by Francis Dillon bell
  • O.004170 Land of memories, The monument at Tuamarina 1988 Mark Adams
  • Charles Heaphy Rangiaeata. 1840. Ref C-025-022 ATL

Stories from He iti whetū : Ngāti Toa portraits Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa: Kanohi Kitea Māori & Pacific Encounters THE BLENKINSOP INDENTURE The 1832 deed for the purchase of the Wairau valley from Ngāti Toa by Captain John William Dundas Blenkinsop. part one The 1832 Blenkinsop Indenture is best known for two things. Firstly,… Read more »