The President laid on the table a copy of Mr. G. V. Hudson's new work on “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies.”
He congratulated Mr. Hudson on his having produced a valuable addition to the scientific literature of New Zealand.
Sir James Hector also considered the work most valuable.
Papers.—1. “On the Tohunga - Maori: a Sketch,” by S. Percy Smith, F.R.G.S. (Transactions, p. 253.)
Sir James Hector said this was a valuable paper, and threw a flood of light on a subject little was known about. It was interesting to know that we had a member capable of gathering information regarding the earliest type of mankind. They must have been descended from a race that acquired a written language, as was evident from their carvings and their pottery.
Mr. Harding considered the acts of the people described by the author were not the property of any particular priesthood; they occurred in other countries down to the present day. The acts of the priests in Egypt were just like those of the Maori tohunga.
Mr. Phillips said the writings on the pottery were quite sufficient to prove that the Polynesians had a written language.
Mr. Tregear had listened with great pleasure to Mr. Smith's paper. It contained most valuable information about these old priests and their customs. The story of the fire-walking, he thought, could hardly be explained. He hoped they would hear other papers from the author.
2. “On Tuberculosis in Pheasants in Wanganui,” by S. H. Drew, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 54.)
Sir James Hector gave a description of the bird Phasianus reevesii and its habits.
Several specimens, additions to the Museum, were shown by Sir James Hector, among others a fine example of the frost-fish (Lepidopus caudatus), presented by Mr. Petrick; and Pimelepterus drewii, presented by Mr. Hurcombe.