Seventh Meeting: 26th October, 1908.
E. V. Miller, Esq., President, in the chair.
New Members.—G. W. Allsop, J. H. Buddle, F. Earl, E. W. Sharman, L.R.C.P.
Mr. E. G. B. Moss gave a lecture on “The Maori Migration to New Zealand: why they came; how they came; what they brought; and what they found in New Zealand.”
The lecturer first spoke of the motives of the Maoris in coming to New Zealand, and how they came. The story was one, he said, of a migration in canoes (fragile craft under any circumstances) from a not definitely ascertained island called Hawaiki, some twenty-five or twenty-eight generations ago, or shortly after the invasion of England by William the Conqueror. This Hawaiki was indicated to Captain Cook to lie to the north-east. The lecturer contended that in undertaking the migration the Maoris must have come at least a thousand miles, or if from Rarotonga fifteen hundred miles, with only one small stopping-place, and without instruments of any kind—a wonderful feat of navigation. He went on to refer to the probability of the Maoris having known of New Zealand prior to this last migration, and the customs of the race when it settled. As to what the race brought to New Zealand, he mentioned dogs, kumaras, taro, yams, and calabashes. They found the moa, of which there must have been many when the race first came: but the only tradition they had was that of Apa and the moa, three hundred and fifty years ago. The lecturer expressed the opinion that it was very doubtful if New Zealand was inhabited before the Maoris came. Certainly the Maoris had traditions of finding inhabitants, but these were supposed to be Morioris, and the stories were of doubtful origin and authenticity.
At the conclusion of the lecture Mr. Moss was accorded a vote of thanks.