Fourteenth Meeting. 6th November, 1872.
Dr. Hector, F.R.S., President, in the chair.
New member.—J. Barleyman.
The nomination for the election of honorary members of the New Zealand Institute was made, in accordance with Statute IV.
1. “On the Influence of Change of Latitude on Ships' Compasses,” by Commander R. A. Edwin, R.N. (See Transactions, p. 128.)
The President remarked on the great practical importance of the subject, and hoped the author would be able to suggest some practical steps to be taken for the protection of the public. With the late Mr. Balfour he had
gone a little into the question on the occasion of the loss of the p.s. “City of Dunedin,” and certain errors were discovered in the cards of correction in the possession of some coasting steamers that may in part have been due to the causes pointed out by Captain Edwin, and which he did not think were taken into account by Mr. Balfour.
2. “On Moa Beds,” by W. B. D. Mantell, F.G.S. (See Transactions, p. 94.)
This paper excited some discussion, in which Messrs. Hutton, Wain, Graham, and others took part.
3. “An Account of the First Discovery of Moa Remains,” by the Rev. Richard Taylor, F.G.S. (See Transactions, p. 97.)
The author described his first discovery of Moa bones on the East Coast, in 1839, and the discovery of the particular deposit under consideration in 1843. The Maoris told him of traditions of how they had regular battues of the Moa at this place, driving them into swamps, where they were easily despatched. The name given to the Moa on the East Coast was Tarepo, and not Moa, but this word is not used elsewhere. The Maoris had distinct knowledge of the Moa, and copies of hunting songs, in which the bird is mentioned, are in existence. All the Moa bone deposits he had seen were superficial, and there was a mistake made in quoting him as saying that the bones at Waingongoro were mixed with marine strata. They were in cooking-ovens that formed numerous layers separated by drift sand.
Capt. Hutton pointed out, with reference to the supposed absence of any traditional knowledge of the Moa as held by Dr. Haast, that in Hochstetter's “New Zealand” Dr. Haast is himself made responsible for such a tradition.
4. “On the Whales and Dolphins of the New Zealand Seas,” by James Hector, M.D., F.R.S. (See Transactions, p. 154.)