• Tree ferns in the bush

    Identify New Zealand’s common tree ferns

    Skirts, scales, hexagons, and colour. There are many differences you can look out for if you want to learn how to identify tree ferns. We ask fern expert Leon Perrie: how do you tell the difference?

  • New Zealand’s most popular spiders of the decade – surfing the spiderverse

    Spiders! You love ’em. Or perhaps you don’t. Either way, they are the most searched for subject on Collections Online. Identification is the most common reason for looking them up, according to feedback, so for putting you all at ease: You’re welcome, Aotearoa. Here are the top ten of the 2010s.

  • A 10-year hunt for a tiny parasitic ghost orchid

    Would you have the patience to spend 10 years trying to find something practically invisible? Botanist Carlos Lehnebach recently discovered his ‘holy grail’ – a collection of tiny ghost orchids in the Wellington region.

A new species of liverwort has just been identified in Wellington and named after local amateur botanist Rodney Lewington (1935–2018). Botanist Lara Shepherd tells us more about liverworts and Rodney’s contribution to New Zealand botany.Read more

A necklace made by Colin McCahon. It features three handcrafted red flowers on a thin woven rop

Colin McCahon is a household name in New Zealand because of his paintings – but did you know he dabbled in jewellery? Decorative art and design curator Justine Olsen writes about a lesser-known part of McCahon’s life.Read more

Close-up of Finale: Bouquet showing the abundance of strips of colour

A moment of jubilation, a three-dimensional painting, thousands of fluttering, colourful strands. Hundreds of thousands in fact. Finale: Bouquet represents the culmination of work by Australia artist Nike Savvas and a Te Papa team entrusted with realising her monumental artwork. Here, spatial designer Vioula Said and exhibition preparator Sam Wallis run you through what went into bringing it to life.Read more

‘This is the best picture yet painted in this country’ is how Colin McCahon described his Ruby Bay, 1945. Here, author and curator Peter Simpson talks about the growing confidence that McCahon was showing through his correspondence around the time of working on this painting.Read more

According to TechWomen only 26 percent of those working in New Zealand’s tech sector are women – only 4% above the world average. This statistic shocked educator Jessie Robieson who’s now making it her mission to improve these numbers.Read more