On the Defence of Auckland Harbour.
1. “On the Defence of Auckland Harbour,” by S. J. Stratford, M.R.C.S.E. The chief object of this elaborate paper was to point out the great facilities for the defence of the harbour afforded by the volcanic cones of Mount Victoria, North Head, Rangitoto, and Brown Island. It was copiously illustrated by an extensive series of plans and sections, and excited considerable discussion, the general opinion expressed being that the series of forts would prove far too costly for the resources of the colony in its present condition, notwithstanding the large amount that might be realised by the sale of Fort Britomart and the Albert Barracks, which the author proposed to make available for this purpose.
2. “On the Habit of the Rata (Metrosideros robusta),” by T. Kirk, F.L.S. (See Transactions, p. 267.) The author pointed out the fallacy of the common opinion that the Rata was a climber which ultimately strangled the tree which formed its support, and showed that it was at first an epiphyte which sent roots down to the soil; these roots ultimately formed stems or trunks, often of large dimensions, the supporting tree being usually destroyed.
Considerable discussion ensued, which resulted in the general adoption of the view expressed by the author.