Damaging mould found on world class whale bone collection stored at Te Papa

Damaging mould has been found on a world class whale bone collection stored by the national museum, Te Papa.

Te Papa is now investigating how over 400 bones became mouldy – that's more than 20 per cent of the collection.

It comes as the museum prepares to announce its third round of job cuts to its curator staff in five years.

Dozens of experts from around the world have written to the Prime Minister concerned the museum can't adequately care for its collections.

Anton van Heldon looked after the unique and extensive whale collection for 24 years until a recent restructuring by Te Papa.

"Very literally my blood sweat and tears went into that collection," he says.

He says he was heartbroken to hear the bones, which contributed to Te Papa's highly successful Tahora exhibition, were damaged.

Whale bones are oily which is why they are vulnerable to mould, but experts say the extent of the problem is unacceptable.

"If this had been caught earlier on it might be a different story. But now they're facing… much more work to deal with this issue," says Diana Coop, the president of NZ Conservators of Cultural Material.

There have been several restructures at Te Papa recently, including ones in 2013 and 2015. The latest proposal could see up to 25 jobs cut – halving the number of conservators and again cutting collection roles.

Te Papa says "caring for the collections is the core of what we do as a museum and that will never change," but it couldn’t comment consultations on the proposals were underway.

More than 30 experts are concerned though. Trevor Worthy is one palaeontologist who has written to the Prime Minister.

"It's absolutely not good enough because each of these collections needs specific expertise," he says.

The Government says it's sought reassurances from Te Papa that collections will be effectively and properly managed.

Meanwhile Te Papa says it’s working hard to ensure the whale bones are repaired.

"The usual kind of treatment we'd use is UV treatment then an ethanol treatment but our primary concern is the specimens are not degraded," says Head of Science Susan Waugh.

Experts have written to Jacinda Ardern concerned with the museum’s capacity to care for its collections. Source: 1 NEWS



'What’s up Muzza' - is it weird to call your parents by their first name?

What do you call your parents - mum and dad, or Geoff and Pam?

The idea some people call their parents by their first name was a hot topic on Breakfast this morning, with Hayley Holt saying it was a bit weird calling her parents by their given names.

‘I’d feel a bit odd, ‘hey Robin, what’s up Muzza?’”

Many viewers said calling parents by their given names was disrespectful, with one viewer saying she had earned the title of mum.

Another said when children were older, it could be a discussion families could have together.

Newsreader Scotty Morrison said in Te Reo Māori there were “beautiful terms” for older members of the whanāu.

“As our people get older they get more and more respect because of the life they have had, the life experience, the knowledge that they’ve gained," he said. 

“It’s important in Māori culture to have that respect for the older generation.”

Some Breakfast viewers thought it was disrespectful not to be called mum or dad. Source: Breakfast


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Police on the hunt after man seriously hurt in Hamilton shooting

A man has sustained serious injuries after being shot in Hamilton last night

Police responded to Derby Street, Nawton at 10:25pm after receiving reports of a shooting.

An investigation is underway to establish exactly what has occurred and inquiries are being made to find the offenders, who left the scene in a car.

A scene examination on Derby Street will continue this morning.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

Police are keen to talk to anyone who was in the area last night and may have information of interest to the investigation.

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Record number of happy punters as two win Powerball, 40 win Lotto first division

There were a lot more ecstatic Kiwi punters than usual last night, with two lucky Powerball players winning $2.5 million each and a record 40 players winning Lotto First Division.

Never before in the Lotto's 31-year history have that many winners been announced in a single draw. The 38 first division winners (without Powerball) will take home $25,000 each.

The winning Powerball tickets were sold at a Countdown supermarket in Hastings and at New Brighton Lotto & Discounter in Christchurch.

It follows a winning $7.2 million Powerball draw just a week earlier, sold from a Pak'n Save in Silverdale. As of yet, however, no one has come forward to claim it.

Some winners might be slightly disappointed by their haul from last night’s draw, while two others claimed over $2.5 million. Source: Breakfast


Strong growth expected in GDP figures to be released this morning

All eyes are on the country's financial performance this morning with economists expecting strong growth.

The latest GDP figures are due for release, with ASB tipping they'll show strong quarterly growth.

Westpac have forecast the annual rate of growth to hold steady at 2.7 percent and both banks are picking a 0.9 per cent rise for the quarter.

Eyes are on the country’s financial performance this morning, with ASB tipping strong quarterly growth. Source: Breakfast