I recently spent a week on Norfolk Island collecting ferns. One non-fern plant I was particularly keen to see was harakeke (Phormium tenax), on which I’ve done recent genetic work. On Norfolk Island it is known as flax, so I’ll use that name here. What I hadn’t appreciated before the trip was the significance of flax to the settlement of Norfolk Island.
The iNaturalist City Nature Challenge is an annual event to see which city can record the most observations, species, and participants over a four-day period. 2023 was the third year that Wellington has participated. Science Researcher Lara Shepherd highlights some of the interesting discoveries made during the challenge. This year
Assistant Curator Natural History Andrew Stewart describes a recent specimen processed by the Fishes team – one of the more striking deep-water predators and relative to the barracouta (a.k.a. the Fisherman’s curse), a large oilfish called Ruvettus pretiosus.
Three Te Papa botanists recently visited Norfolk Island together with colleagues from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Their purpose was to collect ferns for research. Curator of Botany Leon Perrie introduces the significance of Norfolk Island’s ferns. Our research programme investigating the relationships and naming of Aotearoa New Zealand’s ferns
Three of our botanists recently spent a week on Norfolk Island collecting ferns with colleagues from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Our fern findings will be detailed in a future blog post but here we discuss interesting flowering plants that we saw – some of which were very familiar to us as New Zealanders but others were completely new!
It’s been three years since Covid-19 triggered lockdowns around the world, including here in Aotearoa New Zealand. We’ve just published a collection of online comics, highlighting a multitude of experiences faced by members of the Chinese New Zealand community during this time. Here, curator Grace Gassin introduces The Pandemic Chronicles.
New Zealand photography historian William (Bill) Main passed away in March at age 88. Here Curator Historical Photography Lissa Mitchell reflects on some aspects of his career, and Geoffrey Batchen and John B Turner share their thoughts on the loss of Bill.
Speargrasses, with their sharp leaves and flower spikes, may look like a plant you want to avoid at all costs but a number of critters call them home, including the charismatic speargrass weevils. Science researcher Lara Shepherd introduces these weevils, plus some other critters that utilise speargrass plants. When I
Iwi and hapū in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle suffered damage to marae, urupā, and taonga – some irrevocable – causing long-term impacts on these communities. Te Papa staff had their boots on the ground to help out at four marae in Ngāti Kahungunu. Here, they share their kōrero.
Mana Island, near Wellington, is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s conservation success stories. Farmed for more than 150 years, the island is now covered with forest that is overflowing with an abundance of endemic birds, lizards and insects. Using pairs of images taken 50 years apart, natural history curator Dr Colin Miskelly describes how and why the island was transformed from a farm to a thriving sanctuary.
How do we identify one transparent film support from another more dangerous one? This was a challenge posed to staff working with the Spencer Digby / Ronald D Woolf Collection of photographic negatives. Conservator Photography Caroline Garratt describes the issues they face and the technology that helps them.
New Zealand photographer Ans Westra passed away on 26 February 2023 at age 86. Here curator of photography Athol McCredie reflects on some aspects of Westra’s work. Ans Westra was born in the Netherlands and lived in New Zealand from 1957. She settled in Wellington, working at first in a