Poedua [Poetua], daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles, 1785, Webber, John (1750–1793). Purchased 2010. Te Papa

Busy week of final touches heralds return of kiwi treasures 


The dedicated work of conservationists at Te Papa has culminated in the return of two of our most loved items to display.

Phar Lap – the champion South Canterbury thoroughbred racehorse (1926-1932) has been undergoing skeletal conservation work to make the once-sagging frame stand proud and tall again. He’s back on display from 17 March on Level 4. Restoration team Robert Clendon, Colin Miskelly and Hayden Prujean have been working with Dr Alex Davies from Massey University to get the skeleton into its best stature ever.

You can find out more by looking at the time-lapse photography created by Te Papa’s imaging team and also take a look at what the Dominion Post and TV 3 are saying about Phar Lap’s triumphant return.

Te Papa’s art conservators have been doing painstaking work, to restore John Webber’s Poedua (Poetua), daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles.

Te Papa painting conservators Melanie Carlisle and Katherine Campbell have brought an eager and enthusiastic audience along on their restoration journey with their blog, and their colleague Matthew O’Reilly has given an engaging account of restoring the frame that completes the beauty of Poedua.

Take a look at the series of interviews Te Papa’s paintings team has conducted with the Dominion Post.

Both of these items from the National Collection are of special importance to Te Papa, and we’re proud to have them back on display, to be shared with our visitors this weekend.