Wellington recently competed in the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge. During the four days of the Challenge people recorded as many observations and species as possible. Science researcher Lara Shepherd was shocked that the introduced weed old man’s beard was the second-equal most observed species in Wellington. Read more

Thirteen people hold up a block from the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt to face the camera, in Te Papa’s marae

Forty years ago saw the first media reports of HIV/AIDS. Te Papa’s Gareth Watkins reflects on the timeline of the pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history, which sees a number of significant anniversaries in the coming weeks.Read more

A team of keen birders recently participated in an 11-day trip to the remote Kermadec Islands, about 800 km north-east of mainland New Zealand. Several of the species they encountered are rarely seen or photographed – in New Zealand or anywhere. Trip organiser Scott Brooks has loaded more than 70 of his stunning images from the trip on to New Zealand Birds Online. Curator Vertebrates (and NZ Birds Online administrator) Colin Miskelly showcases the best of Scott’s Kermadec bird images.Read more

It is with immense sadness that we mark the passing of John Edgar ONZM. Stone carver, sculptor and environmentalist, John Edgar has been a central figure in stone carving since the early 1980s. Here, Curator Decorative Art and Design Justine Olsen reflects on Edgar’s rich practice and influence on Aotearoa New Zealand’s stone carving and sculpting. Read more

On the left, a painting of a Māori chief, on the right, the back of the painting showing an unfinished portrait of a young boy

In this excerpt from Back of the Painting, a new book from Te Papa Press that takes a literal look behinds the scenes of famous paintings in New Zealand galleries, Conservator Paintings Linda Waters uncovers a mystery: the unfinished portrait of a young boy.Read more

Mural painted onto a garage of the Palestinian flag with a cityscape painted over top and the words ‘Livin in lockdown’

In February we ran a workshop focussing on the Covid-19 experiences of people from international student and migrant backgrounds (including partners and family members), co-facilitated by researcher Sarah Jane D. Lipura. Here, Curator Asian New Zealand Histories Dr Grace Gassin shares insights from the kōrero. If there is one thingRead more

Doctors scrubs made of material featuring highly decorative Polynesian motifs in brown and black

It’s been a year since Aotearoa New Zealand went into lockdown in a move to restrict the spread of Covid-19. During this month-long period people sought to process the magnitude of what was happening through creative expression and entrepreneurial adaptations. Read about three taonga that Te Papa has collected to tell the story of this time.Read more