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White kiwi, French poodles, and the problem of a world in pieces

It's night on Te Hauturu o Toi, Little Barrier Island, and a half moon glows softly behind the clouds. A movement off to our left alerts us and we dive into the brush and extract our prize - a baby North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli).

The Battle of Jutland

The reality of the sea as a First World War battleground is often overlooked. Yet, controlling shorelines and shipping lanes was as critical as achieving success on land.

The art of Samoa​n tātatau and tatau​ (tattooing and tattoo)

The tradition of tātatau and tatau is truly embedded in Samoan custom. One of the most sacred rites of passage for any Samoan is to receive a malofie or pe‘a for men and a malu for women.

The Battle of Crete

The sight of thousands of German paratroopers filling the Cretan sky signalled the beginning of one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War.

The Shannon butterfly collection

Ray Shannon started collecting butterflies while stationed in the Solomon Islands during the Second World War. In 2008 he gifted his collection of more than 13,000 specimens to Auckland Museum where it is used by entomologists (and border officials) for butterfly identification and classification.

Service in the skies

Eating and drinking on board has been an important part of the flying experience ever since the first passenger spent more than a couple of hours in the air.

Toxic sea slug

The grey side-gilled sea slug (Pleurobranchaea maculata) is commonly found around New Zealand and south eastern Australia. It was recently discovered to be deadly to humans and other animals such as dogs.

The first Anzac Day

The first Anzac Day didn't include a dawn service or the wearing of poppies; those traditions were yet to begin. Instead people gathered at town halls, schools and churches to remember those who returned from Gallipoli, and those who were left behind.​

Weddings and war in 1940s New Zealand

Weddings in New Zealand during the Second World War continued the tradition of long white or ivory coloured dresses, often with trains and flowing veils. This was in contrast to Britain for example where clothing was severely rationed.