Mel Thompson

Mel Thompson

Mel is part of the Learning Team within Te Papa Tongarewa. She has a background in science, education & communication and has worked with researchers and curators to create these courses for you.

Location Aotearoa New Zealand

Activity

  • @ShirleyY I love that! I have a handful of stones from the place that feels the most like home to me, so I totally understand.

  • I have seen a few comments of that nature too recently. Divisions like that usually feel like a distraction from structural causes of inequality and hardship.

  • I'm glad you gave each other strength in your convictions. It speaks to your integrity that you spoke up even knowing it wouldn't be well received.

  • @ShirleyY Thanks for sharing your perspective Shirley :)

  • Thank you so much, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully I'll see you again on our other, or future, courses! <3

  • It's shocking isn't it. I think today with the connectedness of social media it would play out very differently!

  • @JohnTaylor Haha, noted!
    I'm really glad you enjoyed your time here, John -- see you on the next one!

  • The 'lack of fossil evidence' line was referring specifically to evidence they preyed on humans (for example human bones with damage that could be pinpointed as being caused by Haast's Eagle), but I can see how it could be read the way you did. I might need to make that clearer in the text!

  • The lack of tail speaks to them being poor fliers -- they mostly just hop around the rocks. Which sadly means they're very vulnerable to stoats and are consequently pretty threatened.

    https://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/rock-wren

  • @JohnTaylor Pandora's box, that one...

  • A fair observation. The effects of climate change and industrialisation are already showing themselves in the salinisation of the water table around the Murray River/Basin.

  • I agree, it's really humbling that stories and art exist that call back to these events, like the eruption of Mt Tarawera, and we can point to known individuals who played a role during these events. Guide Sophie, for example:

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/guide-sophia

  • lol, if only!

  • Probably a little bit of all three...

  • Thats an observation we've heard quite a lot from kiwis in these courses. It's great that people are open to rectifying the knowledge gap they were left with as adults, and I'm glad that our courses can help!

  • Yes, it caused schisms in a lot of families etc, some of which remain today

  • Kia ora John and welcome! This course and its sister course (on culture and clashes) will be a great start for your goals! There are a lot of things that happened here that will be relevant when reflecting on Australian history too

  • Tautoko!

  • It's pretty grim reading, eh

  • I was there too!

  • What a brilliant example of "know better, do better". Thanks for sharing that anecdote Stephen :)

  • Hello and welcome Zul! I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about NZ :)

  • @SusanO'Connor a macron is the little line above a vowel (like this: ā). It indicates that the vowel sound is extended when spoken.

  • I like that connection!

  • Yes, that is a common thread throughout our courses -- the connections between the people and the land in Aotearoa.

  • Kia ora and welcome Ian! You're right, lots of Scottish heritage here. When I was in Scotland I was struck by the landscape similarities to Aotearoa New Zealand, just bigger and darker.

  • @SusanO'Connor My apologies, kōrero is the Māori term for speaking, conversing, discourse, or narrative. In this context I mean there are different accounts in different iwis (tribes) as to the exact timeline of first arrival.

    https://maoridictionary.co.nz/search?idiom=&phrase=&proverb=&loan=&histLoanWords=&keywords=korero

  • @SusanO'Connor Here is an example of a traditional Pacific wayfinding chant.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShbODIG2C60&t=1s&ab_channel=PacificIslandersinCommunications

    The chart in front of them is a traditional star compass. The chant uses this star compass (each point being a known group, or 'house' of celestial marker) to describe the directions to...

  • You're right about the gold rush, and we do have various mines around Aotearoa, but the biggest primary industries throughout our history has been forestry and agriculture. This has very much had an impact on the environment by habitat degradation and pollution, as you can imagine!

  • Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Well said!

  • Māori perspectives on the environment and how that is woven into their culture is a common thread through all of our courses. I hope you find it illuminating!

  • Kia ora and welcome! AoNZ makes for quite an interesting case study for protest. Our indigenous relations bear important lessons for other countries with similar issues, but different approaches have been seen here too. Many of our other protest movements proved to be world-leading. I hope you enjoy your time here!

  • As a fellow animal lover I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm also quite smitten with most of the animals that are considered pests here.

    Ultimately though, we have to view it from a species level. If these introduced animals (that can be found all over the world) remain here, we 100% for sure WILL see the final and irreversible extinction of...

  • @SusanO'Connor how wonderful! If you see any terms you want to know more about, https://maoridictionary.co.nz/ is a brilliant resource!

  • Good morning Susan, at the moment we have our two short courses (this one on NZ nature, and another introducing the people of early NZ - https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/new-zealand-culture-and-conflict-a-museum-perspective/2)

    Then we have our bigger, deeper dive course on the History of Protest -...

  • Surreal, isn't it!

  • Hmmmm, apologies but if there is a translation I'm unaware of it. For ceremonies so steeped in tikanga (Māori cultural protocols) and iwi sovereignty and taonga, there is seldom an English translation done.

    What you witnessed though is a traditional welcoming ceremony, a pōwhiri. You can learn a bit about what happens during a pōwhiri...

  • @StephanieSchaar Hmmmm, apologies but if there is a translation I'm unaware of it. For ceremonies so steeped in tikanga (Māori cultural protocols) and iwi sovereignty and taonga, there is seldom an English translation done.

    What you witnessed though is a traditional welcoming ceremony, a pōwhiri. You can learn a bit about what happens during a pōwhiri...

  • Absolutely magic words to hear Stephanie, thank you! I think you'd enjoy our History of Protest course too if you haven't seen it yet. It's a much deeper dive into NZ history and culture. Thank you so much for your thought and engagement during your time here. Ngā mihi nui :)

  • Culture and heritage for everyone!

  • @JenniferC Also, that article was a fascinating read. Thank you for sharing.