Blood Earth Fire | Whāngai Whenua Ahi Kā 

Long-term exhibition
Level 3
Free entry
Nature; Family; People and history 

Blood Earth Fire Exhibit

Packed full of information and interactivity, Blood Earth Fire will take you on an extraordinary journey of discovery through the changing landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The changes have been dramatic and are dramatically presented. You will be confronted by the mass of ‘alien’ species that humans brought to this land. And why not become an alien yourself? In the ‘Survivor’ computer interactive you need to choose species to take from your planet for survival in a new place.

Then explore the teeming communities of plants and animals that existed here shortly before people arrived. Meet the stout-legged moa, the adzebill, and the laughing owl while listening to how the dawn chorus of a thousand years ago may have sounded. 

You will be immersed in the rapid conversion of this untouched environment into cultivated land, from forests and wetlands to gardens then farms and settlements. But this came at a cost. Hear the haunting lament for extinct species at a memorial wall, along with a re-creation of the call of the extinct huia.

In this exhibition, you will see beautiful taonga (Māori cultural treasures), such as ipu whenua (afterbirth containers), rākau whakapapa (geneaology staff), a striking display of matau (fish hooks and lures), along with a dazzling interactive on the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar).

Blood Earth Fire culminates in a spectacular film. ‘My Place’ introduces striking and beautiful places around the country where people will show you the place that is most important to them – their place!

Watch the My Place digital stories on the Te Papa Channel

Explore the themes of Blood Earth Fire