Posts tagged with New Zealand history

  Last week a small dazzling selection of headdresses belonging to Carmen Rupe (1936 – 2011), went on display at Te Papa. Carmen was a legendary transgender performer and brothel owner – the headwear represents her more flamboyant side.   Each headdress is part of an ensemble, specially selected by Carmen for Te Papa’s history collection…. 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 »

Happy Birthday Air New Zealand – Let’s Eat Cake!


Seventy-five years ago today, the first scheduled passenger service from Auckland to Sydney on flying boat ‘Aotearoa’ ZK-AMA took place. This flight marks the birth of New Zealand’s national airline, originally named TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited), now Air New Zealand. It was piloted by Captain John Burgess and there were just 9 passengers. It’s certainly… Read more »

Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »

Maori soldiers that served at Gallipoli

Sons of Lawrence Marshall Grace and Te Kahui Grace. Photograph taken in 1911 by S P Andrew Ltd. From left: Haami, Lawrence, Richard. Photo courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library.

In our second blog ahead of our new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18, Maori curator Puawai Cairns reveals some of her research into a Maori soldier that served at Gallipoli. Unlike many of the other Maori soldiers I researched for this exhibition, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marshall Percy Grace (10/127… Read more »

More Help Wanted: Photo-Detective #2

CT.058251 Lamb

There was a high level of interest in my last blog about photographs from Te Papa’s collection that require more information. So here are some more where we need your sleuthing skills: Disappearing Waterfall? What happened to the Kakahi Falls, on the Whanganui River, not far downstream of Taumaranui? This photograph appears in many a nineteenth album, features in the… Read more »

The image above is my favourite from a WWI album with photos by NZ soldier Herbert (Bert) Green. The group seems just perfectly composed. There is also the sense of it being two photographs somehow layered together, with another scene unfolding quite independently behind the soldiers. The way the hat of the man at right veers towards… Read more »