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Panel Talk: The Politics of Collecting Plants

Panel Talk: The Politics of Collecting Plants

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  • Thu 28 Nov, 6:30pm – 7:45pm


Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington


All Ages


Te Papa Website

Hear botanists and researchers discuss the shifting politics of collecting and classifying plants, from both Māori and Pākehā perspectives. This event is part of the Tuia 250 Encounters programme.

In 2019, Aotearoa New Zealand will acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans. This is a time to share, debate, and reflect—to speak openly about our history and enable a more balanced telling of our stories.

During the Endeavour’s first voyage to Aotearoa, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected plant specimens—some of which are in Te Papa’s collections. Along with their modern equivalents, these are charged objects: What value do they still hold for researchers today? How do we square this with the agendas of Empire and Enlightenment that motivated their collection?

Our panellists will trace the changing motivations for collecting specimens for museums, botanic gardens and seed banks, from Banks and Solander to now. How do these practices contribute to current research and the pressing conservation issues we face?

This event is presented in partnership with the Taxonomy for Plant Conservation – Ruia mai i Rangiātea Conference, which will be held at Te Papa, 24–28 Nov 2019.

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