The following contributions were laid upon the table, viz: A series of photographs of the Atlantic cable machinery—Mr. J. T. Mackelvie. A number of South Sea Island shells—Mr. Vilcocq, of Russell. Part of a porpoise's head—Mr. Mackenzie, of Mangonui. Maori stone axes—Mr. Bell, of Whangaroa; also, by the same gentleman, a piece of the copper of the ship “Boyd,” the crew of which were massacred and eaten there; a piece of manganese ore from Tikiora, Bay of Islands; quartz rock from near Spirits Bay. There was also a specimen of clay which had been burned by a gentleman at the Tamaki, and which was believed to be a near approach to china clay.
Mr. Gillies, the Honorary Secretary, read a note that had been left at the museum, stating that a number of miners from the Thames had visited the collection, and had been much interested and gratified at examining the minerals there. Mr. Gillies stated that the Council of the Association, immediately upon being formed, wrote to England for various scientific publications, and had received the first of them by last mail. They were then on the table, and would be lent out to be read by members, at the close of the meeting. Any not taken out would lie at his office. He had also to mention that they had received a number
of New Zealand birds from the south, which illustrated the advantage of being connected with the New Zealand Institute.
Mr. Whitaker, President, then read the Inaugural Address. (See Transactions.)
(1.) “On the Botany of the northern part of the North Island,” by T. Kirk, Esq. (See Transactions.)
Dr. Hector spoke in commendation of the paper. He hoped that such excursions as that of the cutter “Glance,” during which the observations were made, would more frequently be undertaken than hitherto. He himself had had a six months’ excursion in the same quarter. Novelties could now hardly be looked for in New Zealand, for the plants were pretty equally distributed, and a number of excellent observers had devoted themselves to exploration in it. Passing from botany, Dr. Hector made some remarks upon the geology of the district to the north of Auckland. Although the geology of New Zealand was very complex, still the great features were now fairly ascertained. Dr. Hochstetter's researches had surpassed the others in published results, but he must have derived a great deal of information from Major Heaphy and other local geologists. Dr. Hector then gave a most interesting account, first, of the geology of the New Zealand Islands as a whole; and next, more particularly of the geology of the northern part of Auckland, pointing out, especially, the areas occupied by Palæozoic rocks, that might prove auriferous; and also the area and extent of the great northern coal field. The lecture was illustrated by a Geological Map of the Northern District, which was published by Dr. Hector, in 1866; and also by unpublished maps and sections of the coal fields.
Captain Hutton followed with some remarks on the same subject; saying that he believed Dr. Hector's account was the first that had been given of the general geology of New Zealand, and more especially of that part which had been more minutely described.
The Rev. Dr. Purchas expressed his gratification at the remarks that had been made by Dr. Hector and Capt. Hutton. He said he had visited the Thames gold field, and had been surprised at the quantity of gold lost there, owing to the presence of sulphurets, and the fine nature of the gold. That loss, he thought, might be obviated. He moved that the thanks of the meeting be given to Dr. Hector, for his interesting statement.
Dr. Fischer seconded the motion, which was agreed to.
Thanks were also given to Mr. Kirk.