Lynette Townsend


I’m a historian with a focus on telling stories through alternative media and multiple platforms. I’m currently doing that through collectable stamps and coins at New Zealand Post.

Projects completed while Senior Historian, Audio-Visual Content at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage include ‘Te Tai: Treaty Settlement Stories’, and ‘Women, the Vote and Activism’ for Suffrage 125.

I also have many years of curatorial experience at Te Papa. Exhibitions include ‘Air New Zealand 75 years. Our nation. The world. Connected’, ‘Aztecs: Conquest and Glory’, and ‘Qui tutto bene: The Italians in New Zealand’. These projects were successfully achieved working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders and communities.


Townsend, L. (2020). Botanical brushstrokes: The Sarah Featon stamps. New Zealand Garden Journal – Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (Inc.). (pp 19- 21)

Lynette Townsend and Sarah Burgess. ‘Tarlton, Kelvin Ewart (Kelly) – Biography’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2020, updated September, 2020. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

Townsend, L. (2018). Carmen Rupe. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara

Townsend, L. (2018). Making Paper Models in 1860s New Zealand: An Exploration of Colonial Culture through Child-made Objects in Childhood by Design. Toys and the Material Culture of Childhood, 1700 – Present.  Bloomsbury, USA

Townsend, L. (Autumn, 2016). The Rainbow connection. Glory Days Magazine. (pp. 60 – 61)

Townsend, L. (2015). Review of the book Hello Girls & Boys! A New Zealand Toy Story, by D. Veart. Journal of New Zealand Studies NS21 (2015), 120-122

Townsend, L. (2015). Colonising through Play: The Crowthers’ Noah’s Ark. In A. Cooper, L. Paterson, A. Wanhalla (Eds.), The Lives of Colonial Objects (pp. 58 – 61. Otago University Press

Townsend, L. & Kruekel, S. (2015) Value of Objects. Uninews.  Vol 44, Issue 08, Oct 2015, p.5

Townsend, L. (2015). Flight of Fantasy. Glory Days. Spring 2015, pp. 61 – 64

Townsend, L. (2014). Air New Zealand 75 Years. Our nation. The world. Connected. Open Eyes. December 2014

Townsend, L. (2014). Aztecs and diversity. Daily Review Australia. 22 April 2014

Townsend, L. (2013). Aztecs Conquest and Glory. Open Eyes. Issue 120 October 2013, pp. 5-6

Townsend, L. (2012). Collecting kids’ stuff: in search of the history of childhood in New Zealand museums: Tuhinga 23 (pp. 39 – 51). Te Papa PressHighest Qualification; Endorsement; Institution; Date Awarded

Townsend , L. (2012). Through a Looking Glass. New Zealand Geographic. Issue 117. September / October 2012, p. 22

Townsend, L. (2012). Te Papa’ Kiwi Faces of World War I. New Zealand Memories. Issue 98 October / November, pp. 24 – 29

Research & Online Projects

Te Tai: Treaty Settlement Stories: Ngati Awa

Women, the Vote and Activism:

Collecting Childhood: Co-collecting project (2011 – 2016) with children conducted in collaboration with the Auckland University’s Growing Up in New Zealand study.

Remembering the Evergreen: An LGBTIQ community research project focusing on collages from Wellington’s Evergreen Coffee Lounge

 The Berry Boys: Research focused on identifying WW1 soldiers in glass-plate negatives from the Berry Photography studio in Wellington


  • Curatorial advice
  • Exhibition preparation
  • Multimedia
  • Oral history
  • Photographic research
  • Project management
  • Public speaking
  • Publicity
  • Records management
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Childhood
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Material culture
  • Museums
  • Women