Norway rats and house mice are two of the most widespread invasive species worldwide. But where did the Norway rats and house mice in New Zealand come from? Our geneticist Lara Shepherd and colleagues from Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, University of Waikato, and Place Management NSW have shed some light on this question by sequencing DNA from rodent bones from a 19th-century archaeological site in Sydney.
In January 2022, our Botany Curator Heidi Meudt went on a chock-a-block seven-day field trip to Southland with Department of Conservation botanist Brian Rance and several others. The aim of this trip was to collect several species of forget-me-nots growing in the ultramafic Livingstone Mountains and nearby hills. Heidi talks about what they were looking for and the environment the forget-me-nots were growing in.
Visitors to Te Papa will no doubt have seen the Britten V1000 – an iconic, world-beating motorcycle designed and built in Christchurch by John Britten and his team. At the moment the bike will looks a bit different, as we are displaying it without its iconic pink and blue bodywork. History curator Katie Cooper gives an overview of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most famous motorbike.
Our Learning Team has an obligation to create learning programmes that celebrate the unique mix of cultural perspectives in Aotearoa New Zealand. Here, Learning Innovation Specialist Donald James discusses how we integrate multiple perspectives, disciplines and approaches to develop programmes that benefit all our learners.
Everyone appreciates an extra day off. Throughout the motu, Waitangi Day is often spent at the beach with our whānau, visiting beloved swimming spots and travelling the country to make the most of rāumati. However, it is important to not lose sight of what and how we are commemorating on Waitangi Day, says Public Programming intern Millie Burton (Ngāti Kahungunu).
It’s probably no surprise that the least popular species in Te Taiao | Nature are unexceptional birds, drab fish, and obscure insects. Science communication intern Caitlin McLean was given the challenge of sharing the stories of these under-loved creatures and why we should still care about Aotearoa’s most boring animals. Here, she writes about what she learned.