One hundred years ago, Britain’s Royal Navy was threatened by the modern fleet being built by Germany. In March 1909, the New Zealand Premier, Sir Joseph Ward, responded to the defence crisis by promising that New Zealand would underwrite a ship for the Royal Navy. He declared: ‘We distant sonsRead more

UPDATE: Due to unforseen circumstances James Luna’s project Urban (Almost) Rituals has been postponed. James is unable to make it to New Zealand at this time. We are planning to reschedule the project. Check the Te Papa website and/or the One Day Sculpture website for updates. Sorry for any inconvenience.  Read more

John Reynolds’ work Cloud has come back from its stint at the Auckland Art Gallery for the 2008 Walters Prize exhibition late last year and it is now up and on show in the Contemporary Focus section of Toi Te Papa, Level 5. John came down from Auckland to installRead more

The rare, tetraploid maidenhair spleenwort  (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens) has only recently been rediscovered in New Zealand.  Several people have contacted me with possible additional sightings. As described by the Scoop website, Jack Ritchie had a maidenhair spleenwort self-sow on a rock used to construct a water feature in hisRead more

We have men at work on the squid tank again today. I caught up with Don, one of our contractors, just before he was heading off to lunch after a hard morning’s work on the tank. He’s putting in a second pump and filter system into one end of the squidRead more

More news from the squid tank. This morning I caught up with Robert Clendon the conservator who is looking after the work on the squid. Over the past few weeks we’ve been a bit concerned about the hooks on the tentacles and the arms. It looked as though the hooks could beRead more

On Tuesday we started remedial work on the colossal squid and her tank. Things are going very well and to schedule. Yesterday we put up the barriers around the tank and lifted up the huge lid, using a forklift. We then drained most of the liquid out of the tank.Read more

My trip to Christchurch for the opening of Rita Angus: Life & Vision went well. I’m pleased with the way the exhibition looks at Christchurch Art Gallery, especially as the exhibition designer and I worked the whole thing out on the phone and via email. By the time I gotRead more

Science curator Leon Perrie explains ‘Punga’ is a quintessential Kiwi word used to refer to tree ferns or sometimes, more specifically, the trunks of tree ferns. Read more

Rita Angus: Life & Vision opens at Christchurch Art Gallery this weekend. I’ll be heading down for the official opening tomorrow evening. On Saturday I’m doing a floortalk in the exhibition at noon, the first in what looks like a great line-up of events alongside the show. It’ll be niceRead more

Botany has recently acquired a unique collection: a special group of calcified red algae known as the corallines. Coralline algae are abundant and ubiquitous throughout the world’s oceans, playing very important roles in marine ecosystems. The encrusting, or crustose, species can form unusual lumpy, warty-looking layers in the intertidal, sometimesRead more

The maidenhair spleenwort is a spleenwort fern (Asplenium) that (supposedly) looks like a maidenhair fern (Adiantum, see below). The 600 or so of the world’s spleenworts are characterised by having their reproductive structures in lines away from the margins of their fronds’ undersides. Two maidenhair spleenworts occur in New Zealand.Read more