Sixth Meeting. 11th November, 1873.
J. T. Thomson, F.R.G.S. Vice-President, in the chair.
New member.—The Rev. Alexander Dasent, M.A.
His Honour Mr. Justice Chapman was chosen to vote in the election of the Board of Governors for the ensuing year, in accordance with Clause 7 of the New Zealand Institute Act.
The nomination for the election of Honorary Members of the New Zealand Institute was made in accordance with Statute IV.
1. “On Observed Irregularities in the Action of the Compass in Iron Steam Vessels,” by A. H. Ross. (Transactions, p. 10.)
The Chairman then introduced Captain Hutton to the society, and, in doing so, dwelt upon the large field that Otago presented for scientific enquiry. For instance, the circumstances under which gold had been deposited at the Blue Spur had to him always been a perfect enigma. Captain Hutton would be able to investigate, and perhaps solve, this and similar enigmas, and his labours would bring the Province under the notice of savans in Europe, which could not but prove beneficial to it.
2. “List of the Insects recorded as having been found in New Zealand previous to the Year 1870,” by Captain F. W. Hutton, C.M.Z.S. (Transactions, p. 158.)
The author said the list now offered was nearly complete. The difficulty in this matter was that the species were so numerous that no person would undertake the task of naming them all. The Beetles alone, for example, were more numerous than all the plants of New Zealand. The only way that he could see by which the task could be performed was for the General Government to place a sum, say £300, on the Estimates (as they did with the flora) to pay some young entomologist at home to collect into one volume, and translate the descriptions already printed, which numbered about 1,000. A beginning of the work of naming the species could then be made. As a preparatory step he had prepared the list in his hands. He had stopped at the year 1870 because there was no later copy of the “Zoological Record” in the colony, and he therefore could not feel sure as to what had been done. He concluded by again urging the Institute to bring its influence to bear on the General Government to vote the money required to pay some one to bring out a catalogue of all the genera and species of New Zealand insects already known.