Posts tagged with New Zealand

Botanic gardens: our outdoor museums and why they matter

Hobbits enjoying the hobbit hole at the Oldenburg Botanic Garden. Sept 2016. Photo by Heidi Meudt.

My name is Heidi Meudt and I’m a Research Scientist in Botany at Te Papa, currently doing taxonomic research on New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots. As part of my job, I attend scientific conferences in New Zealand and overseas. Over the course of my botany travels during September, I’ve managed to visit five botanic gardens in three different… Read more »

Botany travels: representing New Zealand around the world

Group photo at the International Boraginales Conference, just outside the Nees Institute, University of Bonn, Germany, where it was held. Sept 2016.

My name is Heidi Meudt and I’m a Research Scientist in Botany at Te Papa, currently doing taxonomic research on New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots. As part of my job, I occasionally attend scientific conferences in New Zealand and overseas. I’ve blogged before about some of the reasons that international conferences are important for those of us doing… Read more »

Fascinating forget-me-not pollen


Now that springtime is upon us in New Zealand, many plants are starting to flower, producing pollen. Many of us have a negative association with pollen due to its role in causing allergies [PDF, 172KB]. But not all pollen causes allergies, and pollen is of course extremely important to the biology and ecology of flowering plants. Some… Read more »

Remembering Tufuga Holoatu Lagatule (1938-2016) – leader among the Pacific communities in Christchurch


Recently the Pacific Cultures team at Te Papa were informed of the passing of one our elders and leaders, Tufuga Holoatu Lagatule. She was born in Niue and came to New Zealand as a teenager in 1957. She became an important figure among the Pacific communities living in Christchurch, in New Zealand’s South Island, where… Read more »

Margaret Butler: An Invisible Sculptor?


I recently delivered a paper on the New Zealand sculptor Margaret Butler (1883-1947) at the University of Otago conference, ‘Making Women Visible’. Although one or two of her sculptures are occasionally exhibited, she is next to invisible to the wide public, certainly far more obscure than her older contemporary Frances Hodgkins. Yet whenever I see… Read more »

The mysterious attraction of the Hutt River to crabeater seals

  • Crabeater seal, Melling, Lower Hutt, July 1934. Image: John Salmon, Te Papa image MA_A.000173
  • Weddell seal, Napier, June 2007. Image: Department of Conservation
  • Ross seal, Paekakariki, September 2002. Image: Department of Conservation
  • Crabeater seal beside the Hutt River, March 2015. Image: Anneke Mace, Department of Conservation

In late March 2015, a crabeater seal swam up the Hutt River (which flows into Wellington Harbour) and died. It was a remarkable occurrence – the crabeater seal is an Antarctic species rarely recorded in New Zealand – but no-one realised at the time that this was precisely the place in New Zealand where a… Read more »

Pacific Cultures: Our Year in Numbers and Storeroom Selfies!

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It has been another busy year for the Pacific Cultures team. This year as part of Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa we opened Tīvaevae: Out of the Glory Box, Te Papa’s first exhibition of Cook Islands tīvaevae. We have also worked to have have more of our collection available online and in person through exhibitions such… Read more »

Licking the Old Masters: The First New Zealand Christmas Stamps


To quote Bing Crosby, ‘every Christmas card I write’, would be enveloped and stamped unless the friend or relation receiving it was literally ­close. For me and surely millions of others, the stamp itself needed to be a Christmas one. Notice how I use the past tense. In the days of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter,… Read more »

Remembering Jonah Lomu (1975-2015)

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We are all saddened by the passing of Jonah Lomu (1975-2015). In the last few weeks, there has been a constant flow of tributes that attest to his legacy both on and off the field. On social media some have shared their memories of meeting him while others recall waking up early to watch his… Read more »