• The Britten V1000 on display with its bodywork removed. Photo by Katie Cooper, 2021. Britten V1000 motorcycle, 1992, by Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd. Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (T000649)

    A motorbike stripped bare – the Britten V1000 gets a new coat of paint

  • Mānawatia a Matariki

    There are nine stars in the Matariki star cluster. Learn about each of the stars and their connections in our Collections.

Aotearoa New Zealand has a plethora of weird and wonderful plants. The ferociously spiky speargrasses are some of our most distinctive plants and an iconic feature of New Zealand’s high-country, especially when flowering. Te Papa Research Scientist Lara Shepherd and Botany Curator Leon Perrie recently embarked on a new projectRead more

We are saddened to hear of the recent death of New Zealand botanical illustrator and author, Audrey Eagle (1925–2022).  Eagle was a talented artist, writer and botanical collector, whose careful observation, skill and determination over many decades brought forth several books, each containing beautiful and botanically accurate illustrations and descriptionsRead more

Dunedin photographer Gary Blackman passed away on 22 November 2022 at age 92. Here curator of photography Athol McCredie reflects on some aspects of Blackman’s work. When Gary Blackman discovered photography as a form of personal expression in the early 1950s he was way ahead of his time. Too farRead more

Photo of a forget me not, Myosotis brevis, being pointed at because it’s very small, on Wikimedia Commons

We generate a lot of data at Te Papa. Specimens. Photographs. Facts and figures. We’re always thinking of ways to get that data out there and into your hands – and recently we’ve been diving headfirst into Wikipedia. Here, Digital Channels Outreach Manager Lucy Schrader talks about the work that went into getting hundreds of images of forget-me-nots onto the site, allowing them to spread across the web.Read more

Using the correct Sāmoan words is important: it’s a way of giving mana to the original creators and users of the taonga in our collection. As part of the ongoing Mapping the Sāmoa Collections project, Alexander Gordon has been tasked with making a glossary of Sāmoan vocabulary to document how words have changed over time. This will ensure that we are using the correct words to identify objects and make it much easier to search our catalogue.Read more

A white six-petaled flower on a stem. There's another flower behind it.

Massey University student Hayden Jones and Botany Curator Carlos Lehnebach are launching a citizen science project aiming at solving the identity crisis that surrounds one of our most common terrestrial orchids and your observation could provide the clue to solving this taxonomic imbroglio. Maikuku – the white sun orchid (ThelymitraRead more

A father, mother and son standing behind a table set for dinner. The table has a lace tablecloth and the mother is wearing a white apron.

In an earlier blog, we learnt about Japanese migrant Setsuko Donnelly (b. 1933–d. 1991) and her remarkable life in Aotearoa New Zealand through the words of Setsuko’s daughter, Deb Donnelly. In the recollections gathered below, various members of the Donnelly family remember their mother and grandmother through the cherished Japanese meals (especially sukiyaki!) and cultural practices she passed on to them.Read more

Rona Chapman, Art History and Public Policy student at Victoria University, recently spent time as an intern with our Knowledge and Information and Art teams. While here, she registered over 300 of our important artwork files, and wrote about several paintings and prints that are now on show in the exhibition Hiahia Whenua | Landscape and Desire. Along the way, she found a personal connection to some of the artworks, a series of lithographs by Edith Halcombe made nearly 150 years ago.Read more

Our Mapping the Sāmoa Collections project is a collaboration between Te Papa and the Bishop Museum in Hawai‘i and aims to enhance museum catalogue records and develop digital maps to contextualise taonga; enhancing their visibility and improving associated biographies, which then allows communities to utilise and share these resources, as well as support museum collections and knowledge. Research Assistant Alexander Gordon reflects on his first forays into the project.Read more