• Black and white photo of a small hut with bags of kumara in front of it

    Living off the land: Lockdown gardens since forever ago

    In this blog curators Isaac Te Awa and Katie Cooper use objects and photographs from our collection to explore some of the strategies used in the past to produce and preserve food.

  • A section of a large quilt with different patterns and colours

    Belated memorial for Darren Horn, an early AIDS activist

    Te Papa team member Gareth Watkins describes how a community and whānau transformed an early AIDS activist’s wooden graveside cross into a permanent memorial.

  • New fossil seal species rewrites history

    A fossil discovery in New Zealand has revealed a new species of monk seal, the first monk seal, living or extinct, ever found in the Southern Hemisphere. Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx talks about what this discovery means.

A team of keen birders recently participated in an 11-day trip to the remote Kermadec Islands, about 800 km north-east of mainland New Zealand. Several of the species they encountered are rarely seen or photographed – in New Zealand or anywhere. Trip organiser Scott Brooks has loaded more than 70 of his stunning images from the trip on to New Zealand Birds Online. Curator Vertebrates (and NZ Birds Online administrator) Colin Miskelly showcases the best of Scott’s Kermadec bird images.Read more

It is with immense sadness that we mark the passing of John Edgar ONZM. Stone carver, sculptor and environmentalist, John Edgar has been a central figure in stone carving since the early 1980s. Here, Curator Decorative Art and Design Justine Olsen reflects on Edgar’s rich practice and influence on Aotearoa New Zealand’s stone carving and sculpting. Read more

On the left, a painting of a Māori chief, on the right, the back of the painting showing an unfinished portrait of a young boy

In this excerpt from Back of the Painting, a new book from Te Papa Press that takes a literal look behinds the scenes of famous paintings in New Zealand galleries, Conservator Paintings Linda Waters uncovers a mystery: the unfinished portrait of a young boy.Read more

Mural painted onto a garage of the Palestinian flag with a cityscape painted over top and the words ‘Livin in lockdown’

In February we ran a workshop focussing on the Covid-19 experiences of people from international student and migrant backgrounds (including partners and family members), co-facilitated by researcher Sarah Jane D. Lipura. Here, Curator Asian New Zealand Histories Dr Grace Gassin shares insights from the kōrero. If there is one thingRead more

Doctors scrubs made of material featuring highly decorative Polynesian motifs in brown and black

It’s been a year since Aotearoa New Zealand went into lockdown in a move to restrict the spread of Covid-19. During this month-long period people sought to process the magnitude of what was happening through creative expression and entrepreneurial adaptations. Read about three taonga that Te Papa has collected to tell the story of this time.Read more