A red flower with green tips

Last spring, Te Papa’s Leon Perrie, Lara Shepherd and Bridget Hatton travelled to Whanganui to collect plant specimens from the garden of the late Ian and Jocelyn Bell. Many of the plants in the garden are rarely cultivated in New Zealand and were not represented in our botany collection. Research Scientist Lara Shepherd takes us behind the specimen-collecting scenes.Read 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

A protest movement you might have heard about, which I’ve been following closely, is the protest occupation against the North Dakota pipeline at Standing Rock in the United States. The Dakota Access Pipeline (represented online by the hashtag #NODAPL No Dakota Access Pipeline) has prompted protests across the United States asRead more

As we celebrate the mothers in our lives this coming Sunday, I thought it timely to reflect on some of the remarkable women present in the historical galleries of Ngā Toi │Arts Te Papa. They are present as heroines and homemakers, as artists and as benefactors. They may not haveRead more

Valevahalo was the main camp for our recent Solomon Islands’ expedition. Sited at about 800 m above sea level, it is deep in the jungle of the northern foothills of Guadalcanal’s Mount Popomanaseu. I was there for eight nights, with two additional nights at a satellite camp at the nearby Haviha River.Read more

In September I was part of an expedition into jungle in the centre of Guadalcanal island in the Solomon Islands, tropical western Pacific. The purpose was to document the plants and animals present. My job was to help with the ferns. The mountains at the centre of Guadalcanal are rugged,Read more

An important function for Te Papa’s natural history collections is to document the plants and animals we have in New Zealand. What species are present, how can they be distinguished, and where do they occur? These questions need addressing before our biodiversity, both indigenous and exotic, can be managed inRead more