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


  • You're so welcome!

  • Yes I would be curious about the Australian sentiments around this, and how similarly or differently they feel about war, and following their allies into it compared to AoNZ

  • @BenC She seemed to reiterate that she was partitioned, but as you say, perhaps that is part of her training too.

    It was kind of amusing how the activists were puzzled by how shady she was being trying to obtain information that the kiwis, being fairly guileless kiws, would have given her freely!

  • I really appreciate this comment Jade, thank you.

  • @MargueriteScarratt Thank you for reviewing the course, I'm sad to hear you felt lonely but I'm very happy you enjoyed the content.

    Sadly because we haven't had many reviews yet, yours dropped our whole course total down from 4.9 to 4.6! This makes it much harder for us to get more learners on board.

    If you feel the course content was lacking then...

  • Kia ora and welcome Rowena! How wonderful that you're connecting with the place your parents grew up. It's a fascinating place, hopefully you'll be able to come see it all for yourself some day too!

  • Oh, our courses are designed exactly for kiwis like you! You're not alone in realizing that a knowledge gap exists, kudos to you for seeking to fill it.
    The sister course to this one will be a great next step if you enjoy this course :)

  • Kia ora Debbie and welcome! Great to have you here with us :)

  • Wait till you get to next week! It gets even stranger...

  • Yes, they have become very popular, particularly in the states!

    This gif shows just how much of a difference they make, even on a small scale:

  • You're welcome! There's so much to learn about this quirky little land

  • Kia ora Alison, welcome! Great to haveyou here :)

  • The impact of the testing was devastating, but the bombing really made a deep impact on Aotearoa. Certainly not in the way the French hoped for though! It really galvanized and escalated the resistance.

  • You're welcome, she's a very inspiring speaker, though the content broke my heart.

  • It's really hard to fathom that this kind of horrendous stuff was both out in the open and so accepted for such a long time.

  • Welcome Bill, great to have you learning with us. Better late than never eh!

  • I tend to agree, most suits and ties seem to be uncomfortable, hot, and restrictive for no reason except to act as some sort of semi-classist barrier to entry into the halls of power (or business). The expense of them just reinforces this.

  • @JulieHerron Thanks Julie, we're exploring the different ways and audiences for which we could leverage the medium of online courses. It's a very exciting space!

  • I'm glad to her you learned some new things Sue!

  • Kia ora Georgina and welcome to the course! You're not alone among our international learners in wanting to see how different indigenous cultures experienced colonialism. Ours is a very interesting example, lots of similarities but also some very big differences.

  • WOW, fascinating read Ben, thanks. This bit in particular stood out to me:

    "She stands by her decisions, even more firmly today with Isis and the rampant threat of terrorism around the world.

    She acknowledges, though, that New Zealand will see it differently.

    "It's a country where war never happened. They have a pacifist spirit.

    "They did lose...

  • @MargueriteScarratt This run has only just opened about a day or two ago - there should be more students coming through soon :) I'll be here with you, either way!

  • Oh that's awesome!

  • Interesting question! There are a few theories about this, but no firm answers that I could find. Some of the possible reasons are:

    - Aborigines do not appear to have been a particularly sea-faring people beyond coastal fishing, with no real evidence of interaction between them and Polynesian populations.

    - While Māori/Polynesians were a skilled...

  • Tēnā koutou, my name is Mel and I'll be your facilitator throughout this course. I'm based in Wellington, New Zealand and am part of the Learning Team at Te Papa.

    I'm so excited to share this fascinating look at our natural history with you!

  • It appears so, particularly through our UN commitment, though I had not heard of it before so I don't think there is a huge public awareness of it.

    We do have shocking family violence statistics here though, so there are several other movements and action groups in that vein here; like white ribbon day

  • Kia ora Hinauri and welcome! Ka rawe, awesome to have you here. I'll be here if you have any thoughts to share as you go through

  • It's a pretty amazing story!

  • You are so welcome Yvonne, I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying learning with us!

  • Great to hear! Thanks Daniel, it's been great to have your active participation throughout this course - you have a ton of knowledge in this area and I appreciate how generous you've been with it :)

  • Oops, just saw this. Thank you so much Megan! really appreciate your kind words! A lot of love went into making this course so it's great to hear it's being appreciated :)

  • Cyclone Gabrielle too, I believe.

  • That's great to hear. Te Papa is the agency that manages the repatriation of ancestral remains from such places. Māori culture carries that that the mauri (life force) of the ancestor is tied to their remains so it's really important that they come home to the care of their descendants.

  • Thanks for the recommendation Daniel :)

  • Thanks, I didn't know about that one!

  • Absolutely senseless

  • Kia ora Fiona welcome! Great to have you here. Let me know if you have any questions!

  • @MargueriteScarratt A good reminder to never take the freedoms we enjoy today for granted. Hard won by the courage and tenacity of the women's movements of yesterday.

  • Yep, thats the one. She toed the party line reluctantly until she couldn't any more. She has said she regrets doing so for as long as she did.

  • Thank you so much Julie, that's wonderful to hear!

  • Kia ora Angela, welcome! Excited to have you learning with us. Feel free to share your thoughts as you go through :)

  • Kia ora and welcome Yvonne! Great to have you here learning with us.

  • @DanielBurnett Yes he seemed like a very principled man. Here's some more about him for other curious learners:

  • I wonder how common this perspective was in returning soldiers.

  • Yes, his is another controversial memorial.

  • Lots of this story is only relatively recently declassified, and it's not hard to see why, it's genuinely horrifying.