Ben and Caitlin smiling

Today is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Te Ngutu-o-te-manu. This was a major battle in the third Taranaki war, also known as Tītokowaru’s war. Here, history curator Katie Cooper speaks to two new members of the Te Papa whānau – Caitlin Lynch and Ben Manukonga – about the importance of commemorating the New Zealand wars and the power of objects.Read more

Independent women invest here poster, 2015, New Zealand, by Kiwi Wealth Limited. Gift of Kiwi Wealth Limited, 2017. Te Papa (GH025081)

This year sees the 125th anniversary of the granting of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Te Papa is proud to be commemorating this event, and one of the ways we will be marking it is by collecting ten objects that explore the diversity of women’s experiences as they have worked to achieve positive social change.Read more

Mother and daughter photograph

On 23 September an exciting new exhibition opened at the National Museum of Singapore called Witness to War: Remembering 1942. Ten objects from Te Papa were sent to Singapore to be featured in the exhibition. In this blog history curator Katie Cooper shares the story of the Pether family, and explainsRead more

On 23 September an exciting new exhibition opened at the National Museum of Singapore called Witness to War: Remembering 1942. Ten objects from Te Papa were sent to Singapore to be featured in the exhibition. History curator Katie Cooper shares some of the stories from the exhibition and discusses the significanceRead more

Prompted by an enquiry from an independent scholar, history curator Katie Cooper has been researching a series of 19th century tradesmen’s tokens in Te Papa’s numismatics collection. Here she provides a brief history of this fascinating colonial currency. A shortage of change In the early 19th century a variety of foreignRead more

The summer season is once again upon us, and for many people that means that it’s time to take a well-earned break. For most rural New Zealanders, however, summer is no time to rest, and at this time of year woolsheds all over the country hum with the bleating andRead more

The summer season is once again upon us, and for many people that means that it’s time to take a well-earned break. For New Zealanders in the 19th and early 20th centuries, however, summer was no time to rest. History curator Katie Cooper examines the summertime activities of jam-making andRead more

Cheslyn Rise - Christmas dinner, circa 1920, by Leslie Adkin. Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Te Papa (B.022885)

With festive eatables on everyone’s mind at this time of year, history curator Katie Cooper traces the history of the Christmas dinner in New Zealand, and considers how our antipodean Yuletide has changed since its first celebration in 1642. The First Festive Feasts Abel Tasman and the crews of theRead more

Aunt Daisy, also known as Maud Ruby Basham. New Zealand Free Lance : Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-046733-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23043179

Inspired by a trip to see Hudson and Halls Live! at Hannah Playhouse, history curator Katie Cooper decided to find out more about Hudson and Halls, and other key figures in New Zealand’s culinary history. Using various communication platforms to demonstrate their craft, these individuals combined skill and charm to inform,Read more

Textile conservator Anne Peranteau prepares William and Sarah Rhodes wedding waistcoat and dress for display. 27 Sept 2016. Te Papa

Tuesday 27 Sep was an exciting day for the History team, as we welcomed descendants of prominent nineteenth-century Wellington entrepreneur William Barnard Rhodes and accepted two remarkable items into our collection. Rhodes’ great, great, great grandson Rupert Ryle-Hodges travelled from England to present to Te Papa a silk brocade weddingRead more