Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 5, 1872
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2. “Description of the Extinct Gigantic Bird of Prey Hokioi,” by a Maori; communicated by Sir G. Grey, K.C.B., Hon. Mem. N.Z. Inst.


This bird, the Hokioi, was seen by our ancestors. We (of the present day) have not seen it—that bird has disappeared now-a-days. The statement of our ancestor was that it was a powerful bird, a very powerful bird. It was a very large hawk. Its resting place was on the top of the mountains; it did not rest on the plains. On the days in which it was on the wing our ancestors saw it; it was not seen every day as its abiding place was on the mountains. Its colour was red and black and white. It was a bird of (black) feathers, tinged with yellow and green; it had a bunch of red feathers on the top of its head. It was a large bird, as large as the Moa. Its rival was the hawk. The hawk said that it could reach the heavens; the hokioi said it could reach the heavens; there was a contention between them. The hokioi said to the hawk, “what shall be your sign?” The hawk replied, “kei” (the peculiar cry of the hawk). Then the hawk asked, “what is to be your sign?” The hokioi replied, “hokioi-hokioi-hu-u.” These were their words. They then flew and approached the heavens. The winds and the clouds came. The hawk called out “kei” and descended, it could go no further on account of the winds and the clouds, but the hokioi disappeared into the heavens.

“Kei” is the cry of the hawk. “Hokioi-hokioi” is the cry of the hokioi. “Hu-u” is the noise caused by the wings of the hokioi. It was recognized by the noise of its wings when it descends to the earth.

3. “On the Origin in New Zealand of Polygonum aviculare, L.,” by W. T. L. Travers, F.L.S. (See Transactions, p. 310.)

In the discussion that followed Mr. Travers stated that he did not believe that Capt. Cook succeeded in introducing the potato and grasses, but that the seeds he scattered were anti-scorbutic plants.

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4. “Description of a Reflecting Telescope made in Wellington,” by W. F. Parsons; communicated by Dr. Hector, F.R.S. (See Transactions, p. 125.)

The instrument described was exhibited, and the use of certain machinery employed in its construction was described by Mr. Parsons.

Mr. Travers asked why the speculum was not made of metal instead of glass.

Mr. Parsons explained that metal was likely to corrode, and that the glass speculum could always be resilvered and made as good as new. Besides that the glass specula prepared by Browning's process gave greater light than any others.