Just over six months ago, we lived in a very different Aotearoa. Six months later, what would we remember from then? On May 28 2020, we reopened our doors to the public after three months of closure due to Covid-19 lockdown. To acknowledge the time we’d spent apart, and to welcome our manuhiri (visitors) back into the building, we wanted to give them the opportunity to capture a small, personal moment in history, a snapshot in time as we collectively adjusted to our ‘new normal’.
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 team comprised of staff from Te Papa and the Department of Conservation (DOC) recently spent a week surveying islands in northern Fiordland. In this second blog based on the trip, vertebrates curator Colin Miskelly describes some of the sites visited and discoveries made.
Five Te Papa staff recently joined Department of Conservation colleagues on a boat-based survey of islands in central and northern Fiordland. One of the species they were hoping to learn more about was the mysterious grey-backed storm petrel. Vertebrates curator Colin Miskelly explains why this tiny bird was on their radar, and what they found.
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.
Earlier this year, Te Papa botanists hunted for uncommon forget-me-nots in a very special place: Hikurangi, East Cape.
A fossil discovery in New Zealand has revealed a new species of seal that once called Australasia home. Eomonachus belegaerensis is the first monk seal, living or extinct, ever found in the Southern Hemisphere. Its presence in our region turns the evolution of southern seals on its head. Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx talks about what this discovery means.
Assistant researcher Shaun Thompson is working with Curator Julia Kasper studying the lives of fungus gnats, one of the biggest Diptera groups in New Zealand. They aim to provide updated species descriptions and distribution records which may help detect invasive exotic species present in New Zealand, prevent the loss of these gnat species and avert harm to our ecosystem.
The 14,000th image loaded on New Zealand Birds Online was of a recently-fledged banded dotterel chick, taken by Derek Templeton. The image was taken near Blenheim, where Derek is based. Here, Derek answers a few questions about how he got involved in wildlife photography, and why he started contributing images to New Zealand Birds Online.
Botany Researcher Heidi Meudt and Collection Manager Antony Kusabs made new collections of forget-me-nots and other plants at some stunning but remote South Island sites in Feb 2020. Take a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to do remote field work, and enjoy some of the rewards of their hard work!
At Te Papa we appreciate any opportunity to improve our learning programmes and adapt them to the needs of learners. In early August we were preparing to deliver our Pacific Explorers programme to four classes of years three to five from Taita Central School. Little did we know how coronavirus would give us the opportunity to adapt the programme to be even more accessible and successful than any iteration so far.
This week David Hocking, Research Fellow at Australia’s School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, and our Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx wrote the following short article for Monash Lens, the University’s in-house journal, on the ongoing pilot whale mass stranding in Tasmania. It is reprinted here in its entirety.