Ngāti Toa School brightens Discovery Centre

Ian Levi Ware proudly shows his awesome linocut print. Photographed by Makaira Waugh © Te Papa

Who are your kaitiaki? Early in April the senior students of Ngāti Toa School in Porirua had the opportunity to create colourful art to adorn the walls of our Māori Discovery Centre, Te Huka ā Tai. Their theme was Kaitiakitanga (Guardianship), looking at both who their own guardians are and what are the taonga that… Read more »

Aliens: Here Already?

Hipkins - The sanctuary Melbourne

When Captain Cook’s Endeavour sailed into Whitianga harbour in 1769 Maori thought the ship was a god, and the people on board tupua, strange beings or goblins. This was confirmed as they rowed ashore, for the way they faced opposite to their direction of travel suggested they had eyes in the backs of their heads…. Read more »

Last week Victoria University MSc student Delaney Burnard and I had a quick trip to the South Island to collect lycophytes for Delaney’s research. Lycophytes are sometimes called “clubmosses”, but they are not related to mosses. They are actually more closely related to ferns and seed plants. Lycophytes differ from seed plants in lacking seeds,… Read more »

New Zealand’s best bird photographer?

  • A vagrant Japanese snipe photographed at Lake Rotokaeo, Hamilton. Image: Neil Fitzgerald, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Northern-Bullers-Mollymawk-flight
  • The holotype of Pelagornis miocaenus (a fossil seabird) from Armagnac, France, held in the Paris Museum. There is a single specimen referred to this species from North Canterbury. Image: Alan Tennyson, New Zealand Birds Online
  • The red-kneed dotterel has been seen once in New Zealand. This adult was photographed at the Werribee sewage treatment works in Victoria, Australia. Image: Sonja Ross, New Zealand Birds Online

Three hundred photographers (and two painters) have contributed images to the New Zealand Birds Online website, which was launched in June 2013. Each of the 461 bird species on the website has its own page, with one image selected as the ‘master’ image, and additional images presented as a gallery of thumbnails that can be… Read more »

Do you remember the Trekka?

Todd 1976

If so, what did you think of the Trekka the only vehicle ever designed and mass-produced in New Zealand? Te Papa would love to hear your memories. Email your recollections, opinions, a story or even a favourite photograph through to eventenquiries@tepapa.govt.nz by Wednesday 25 June, 5 pm. The best 5 will receive free copies of Todd’s… Read more »

Kenneth Clark: making art inspirational

  • Auguste Rodin Eve 1881. Private Collection
  • Frances Hodgkins Pumpkins and Pimenti, 1935 (Fletcher Trust Collection, Auckland)
  • John Piper Coventry Cathedral 1940 © Crown Copyright, Manchester City Galleries
  • Bust of Charlemagne, c. 1350, Aachen Cathedral Treasury (Wikimedia Commons)

Imagine this: the Soundings Theatre at Te Papa is staging a lunchtime event. It seats just over 300, but the only problem is that 24,000 people want to be there. This was the scary scenario confronting the National Gallery, Washington, when it screened the first episode of the pioneering television art documentary series Civilisation: A… Read more »

Taonga from Takahe Valley

  • Waniwani (fire making stick) from Takahe Valley, ME006596
  • Knotted ‘artwork’, possibly made from a bird snare
  • Bunch of weka feathers, ME006592, possibly used as a lure for attracting inquisitive birds, such as takahē and weka
  • Length of harakeke with bird snare slip knot on end, ME006611. This would probably have been attached to the end of a long stick when in use

For those of us working with the taonga Māori collections at Te Papa our work can sometimes also be a personal experience as we connect with taonga associated with the activities of our own ancestors and with places of cultural significance to our own people. It has been a little while but I had one… Read more »

Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira exhibition – behind the scenes

  • Wol Jobson (2D designer) and Craig Turvey (3D designer) at work in the design studio
  • Sarah Parai and Rei Warren with their harakeke wreath for the commemorative war  section
  • Hone Moriarty - tiki series for Te Huka a Tai display
  • Team meeting

The final days for the exhibition installation is upon us. Progress has been moving along at a steady pace, as all the structural build, lighting, graphics, technological services, audio visual testing, instalment of cases and taonga are taking place.     The development of the exhibition began about 19 months ago, with the establishment of… Read more »

Rabbits on Mars?

Peryer - rabbit

In mid-2013 a creature that looked like a rabbit, squirrel or rat in a NASA Mars rover photograph was spotted by a blogger. The photograph quickly went viral, to the point where it started attracting news media attention. This isn’t the only animal seen in Mars photographs either. A lizard and some rabbit ears have… Read more »

What ferns were found during the ‘Find ferns…’ competition?

  • Button fern, Pellaea rotundifolia, was one of the most frequently reported ferns. Photo (c) Leon Perrie.
  • Hound's tongue, Microsorum pustulatum, was one of the most frequently reported ferns. Photo (c) Leon Perrie.
  • Male fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, is an introduced weed in New Zealand.  It was reported several times. Photo (c) Leon Perrie.
  • Mamaku, Cyathea medullaris, was one of the most frequently reported ferns.  Photo (c) Leon Perrie.

Thanks to those who entered our ‘Find ferns and win!’ competition as part of our Science Live: The Secret World of Ferns broadcast. And, congratulations to the lucky winner! Watch The Secret World of Ferns. Lots of different ferns were spotted – some 44 species. One of the interesting finds was reported by shona_t via… Read more »