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Explore topics

Explore topics

Spring flowers in Auckland Domain

Find out about a few plants very close to Auckland Museum, and learn about the language botanists use to describe introduced species.

Tairua trolling lure

Auckland Museum has in the collection a unique tangible link between Māori and the East Polynesian homeland. A fishing lure made from tropical black-lipped pearl shell was made in East Polynesia and brought here, on a waka, with the Polynesian settlers of Aotearoa.

The Huia

​In a country known globally for its unique bird diversity and the tragic loss of its birdlife following human arrival, no species resonates more in the stories of the formation of our nation than the huia.​

Te Hohoro (Speed)

Speed is winning the tauwhāinga (race) and rushing around, being the first to know the rongo kōrero (news), the first to out-manoeurve the hoariri (enemy). But you also have to know when to slow down... to enjoy the ao (world) around you... before life sprints away.

Te Wai (Water)

Water is a defining feature of Auckland. Both wai māori (fresh) and wai tai (salty), it nourishes and refreshes us, and in return requires looking after. Without water, the huarahi (roads) would be even more congested and our tūpuna (ancestors) might never have arrived here.

Ngā Parahanga (Waste)

Each of these brief stories about Auckland relates to an object from the Museum’s collection that’s linked to the topic of 'waste' in our Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories exhibition.

Te Huka (Sugar)

Sugar provides vital energy but it can be pretty hard to resist, and not just for humans. It motivates our pollinating pepeke (insects) and energises kākā. Without huka (sugar), much of the mahi nui (hard work) done by West Auckland orchardists would be, well, fruitless.

Te Maitai (Metal)

Metal is all around us, sometimes shining, often matangaro (invisible). It is the tupua (magic) behind early photography and the secret to fertile volcanic soils. Without it, Piha Beach would leave your waewae (feet) a lot mā kē atu (cleaner).

Te Paru (Mud)

Mud, mud, glorious mud, there’s nothing quite like it. Mud lets us whakatupu kai (grow food) and make the pereti (plate) to eat it from. Without it, trees would topple over!

Te Reo (Voice)

Voice is about being heard - saying "hi", kata (laughing), waiata (singing), mana (power).

Te Tote (Salt)

Salt is in the seas all around Auckland and in our tinana (bodies) too. In small doses, it keeps us hauora (healthy) and lets our koiora moana (marine life) flourish. Without salt, we wouldn't have a catch of the day.

Te Hau (Wind)

Wind is all around us. It flies the kites, disperses the seeds, and erodes the whenua (land). Without it sailors would have to reach for their oars, migrating manu (birds) would struggle, and there would be no cool summer matangi (breeze).