Professional rat catchers removing rats from Sydney following an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in 1900. Photo: NSW State Archives

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.Read more

Members of our field team trekking across a steep and colourful scree in the Livingstone Mountains. Photo by Geoff Rogers January 2022.

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. Read more

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.Read more

Pages of the Treaty of Waitangi on display in cases

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).Read more

A touch screen with a photo of a grey-faced petrel and its real-life specimen on display in front of it

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.Read more