Posts tagged with New Zealand

Celebrate World Refugee Day 2010

Smack bang in the middle of Matariki, the Maori New Year and all the creative (indoor!) activities that are taking place at the Matariki Festival at Te Papa, World Refugee Day is one of our key times to celebrate and discuss the diversity of our beautiful people and places, and the freedom we enjoy. This year… Read more »

Folding up to save water

Cross section of a leaf of a hooked grass under the microscope. Photo by C.A. Lehnebach (c) Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Did you know that Hook Grasses can control water loss by folding up their leaves?  Contrary to their common name,  Hook Grasses are not grasses but Sedges and they belong to the family Cyperaceae.  Sedges are commonly found in wet or poorly drained habitats. Hook Grasses, however, can be found in a much greater diversity of habitats. In New Zealand, Hook Grasses can grow… Read more »

Race Relations Day 2010

  • Patrick from The Mixing Room, Photographed by Kate Whitley
  • Patrick from The Mixing Room, Kate Whitley, 2009
  • Patrick
  • The Mixing Room

The theme for Race Relations Day 2010 is ‘It’s About Us – Whānau’ and we are officially celebrating it on Sunday 21st March – this weekend!  In the days around Race Relations Day community groups, councils, schools, workplaces, marae and places of worship are encouraged to host events and celebrations to acknowledge the value of… Read more »

Australian cousins

  • 6.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 5.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 4.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 3.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.

During my recent visit to Victoria’s Alpine National Park in Australia, I was interested to see a number of familiar plants amongst the unfamiliar gum trees. Searching Victoria’s Alpine National Park for Asplenium hookerianum. Do you recognise any of these? A harder one to finish off. Answers: 1. Acaena novae-zelandiae, bidibidi, piripiri.  A species indigenous to… Read more »

Amgueddfa blog

Michael Houlihan, Te Papa’s newly appointed CEO, is currently Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales. http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/ In a recent post on the Amgueddfa blog Michael talks about his decision to make the big move from Wales to New Zealand: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/blog/?cat=409 I was checking out pictures on the Amgueddfa blog of the wildlife and woodlands in the snow… Read more »

DNA-fingerprinting fierce lancewood

  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • At each different kind of microsatellite, each individual has two copies, one inherited from its mother and the other from its father. The two copies in an individual can be the same or different lengths. This is a figure of one particular kind of microsatellite for two individuals. In the upper individual, the two copies are of different lengths: length 129, which is quite uncommon, and length 135 which is common and widespread. In the lower individual, the two copies are both of length 135, which is why there is only one large peak.

Aside from ferns, my main research interest is the group of trees known as Pseudopanax, for which I collaborate with Lara Shepherd from the Allan Wilson Centre. Blog posts on ferns Blog posts on Pseudopanax Pseudopanax includes the lancewoods and five-fingers. Several of the species are popular in cultivation, including fierce lancewood (Pseudopanax ferox). This… Read more »

Colenso’s collections

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This amazingly comprehensive compilation of archival material relating to William Colenso’s botanical collections has just been published by the New Zealand Native Orchid Group. The material has been researched by Ian St George and includes unpublished work by the late Bruce Hamlin (former Curator of Botany at the National Museum of New Zealand), who was… Read more »

Weedy ferns

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  • Distribution of male fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, in New Zealand, based on specimens in Te Papa's WELT herbarium. Note that this is a significant under-representation.
  • Male fern

Chris Horne of the Wellington Botanical Society recently sent me a fern frond they collected on one of their trips. Although the frond is small and lacking the diagnostic reproductive characters, I think it is the introduced holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum). It looks like the shining spleenwort (Asplenium oblongifolium), but the flanges, or ‘teeth’, of the… Read more »

Treaty Debate: The Māori seats in Parliament

What do you think of the Māori seats in Parliament? On Thursday 5 February @ 6.30 – 8 p.m. two speakers will deal with this provocative issue – The role of Māori in Parliament and the future of the Māori seats. Professor Philip Joseph and Derek Fox will discuss this topic as part of Te Papa’s annual Treaty Debate series. Join… Read more »

Rob’s Mob

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  • Robert Muldoon toby jug
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Some of the topics we’re exploring in the 20th Century History exhibition relate to major local and international events, some are aligned with social or technological changes, and some revolve around personalities. One of New Zealand’s most memorable personalities was Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. Muldoon dominated public life in the 1970s and early 1980s in a… Read more »