Tongariro National Park Board.
Report of the New Zealand Institute's Representative on Park Board.
During the year ending 31st March, 1933, two meetings of the Park Board have been held in Wellington, both of which were attended by your representative.
The question whether the collection of botanical specimens, seeds, or live plants should be allowed was brought up by an application from an intending visitor from Auckland to the Park. It was pointed out that collections could quite well be made outside the Park boundaries. As a matter of general policy the Board will not grant permits to remove plants from any portion of the Park. So far as is at present known, there is no plant peculiar to the Park, and all plants that occur there can be found outside its boundaries in the adjacent mountains, swamps, or forests.
Section 15 of the Tongariro National Park Act, 1922, provides, inter alia, that every person is liable to a fine of £50 who, without being authorised by the Board, wilfully breaks, cuts, injures, or removes any or any part of any wood, tree, shrub, fern, plant, stone, mineral, furniture, utensil, tool, or thing of any kind.
The above provision appears to be sufficient to safeguard the amenities of the Park if enforced by the local honorary rangers and supported by public opinion, but there is also urgent need for a paid ranger to patrol the Park regularly, and when there are funds available for this purpose it is hoped that such an appointment will be made.
An application for permission to cut firewood and dead timber from the Park was, in accordance with this Institute's resolution at the last annual meeting, opposed by your representative and refused by the Board. Permits to cut wood have all been cancelled now, but a permit to cut dead wood for firing has been granted to the Prisons Department at the old milling area at Waikune, near Erua, under strict supervision.
The better definition of the route from the Ohakune track to the Chateau track by means of painted poles has been completed to the general satisfaction of climbers.
Two honorary rangers have been appointed during the year—Mr Blyth, the well-known climber, who is also a member of the National Park Board, resident at Ohakune, and Mr Young, a member of the Chateau staff. It is hoped that these appointments may help to bring about a better attitude of the local settlers and of visitors towards the preservation of the natural features of the Park.
An adequate camping ground has been set aside for motorists in an area near the Chateau.
B. C. Aston.
18th April, 1933.
The report of the Park Board was on the motion of Mr Aston, seconded by Mr Pycroft, adopted.
Dr Marshall asked if any survey had been taken to ascertain to what extent the heather was spreading in the park. Mr Aston replied
that it was perhaps spreading in the wet marshy areas of the park, but it was not spreading in the higher, drier parts at all.
Mr Pycroft asked if it would not be possible to eradicate the heather. Mr Aston replied in the negative.
Professor Kirk asked whether the rangers in the park were honorary rangers or were paid for their services. On Mr Aston's replying that they were honorary, Professor Kirk suggested that the Institute should urge that as soon as possible paid rangers be appointed.
Arthur Pass Park Board: Professor Speight asked if a report on the Arthur Pass Board was required, and being answered in the affirmative, promised that one should in the future be supplied.
National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Board of Trustees.
Report by Vice-president.
During the year ending 31st March, 1933, seven meetings of the full Board have been held and attended by two representatives of this Institute, namely, the President's deputy (either Professor Kirk or Dr Marshall) and the Vice-president, also by Mr Oliver, Director of the Dominion Museum and member of this Board.
The most important work during the year was the decision arrived at by the meeting on 15th November, 1932, presided over by the Prime Minister, to accept the tender of the Fletcher Construction Co., Ltd., for building the main Art Gallery and Museum building at a cost of £160,182 5s 7d. The contractors have made a start with the preliminary work, and it is expected that the building will take three years to erect. It is to be particularly noticed that the pink Putaruru stone of a vitric tuff, common to the Waikato basin, has been selected for the stone work required in the building, this stone having been found to be quite suitable in the completed Campanile building.
The peat kauri gum collection secured through the good offices of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Mr Young, a member of the Board, will be housed in the new Museum, and will be a decided acquisition and also an exhibit of great value.
Pictures: A suggestion from his Excellency the Governor-General that a replica of the painting of Lord Rutherford, by Birley, a New Zealander, painted by him through the Royal Society, should be purchased by public subscription for the Art Gallery was considered by the Board, but action was postponed for a year.
An offer of a picture of Mount Cook from a local source had also to be declined, as there was no storage accommodation for pictures at present.
Deputy Chairman: It has been found necessary to suggest that the Governor introduce amending legislation providing that in the absence of the Chairman (Prime Minister) and Deputy Chairman, the Minister of Internal Affairs should act as Chairman, and if all three are absent the Chairman of the Finance Committee shall take the chair at the Board meetings.
B. C. Aston,Vice-president.
The adoption of the report of the representative on the Board of Trustees was moved by Mr Aston and seconded by Dr Marshall, who stated that it was a matter for congratulation that New Zealand stone was being used in the facings of the new buildings.
Management Committee of the Dominion Museum: On the motion of Mr Aston, seconded by Mr Eliott, it was resolved that the nomination of a Museum Committee of Management be made by the Standing Committee, if necessary to forward to the Board of Trustees of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum.
Institute of Horticulture.
Report of the New Zealand Institute's Representative.
The Institute of Horticulture has suffered a severe blow in the sudden death of Mr A. R. Stone, a secretary whose place it will be very difficult to fill.
The work of the Institute for the year has been on the lines of the previous reports, but in addition the following will be noticed as an extension of the Institute's work:—
Plant Patents: The Institute is taking an interest in forinulating measuies which will provide protection to the raisers of new plants, and also for the establishment in connection therewith of a statutory nomenclature Board.
Forest Preservation: Consideration of the preservation of the Waipoua Kauri Forest received attention during the year, and a conference was held on the matter at which delegates from the Forestry Department, Agricultural Department, and Forestry League gave their opinions. Representations to the proper authorities are being made by the Institute which it is hoped will be conducive to the preservation of this rare type of forest. Other matters receiving consideration were the preservation of native forests, supervision of scenic reserves, and the importation of plants and animals. In connection with the latter, it was decided to support the following resolution passed by the Forestry League:—
“Importation of Birds and Animals.—That in view of the past disastrous experience in connection with the introduction into New Zealand of birds and animals other than domestic, the Government be urged to absolutely prohibit any further importation.”
Growing of Vegetables by the Unemployed: The Institute took an active part in furthering the Government's vegetable growing scheme whereby areas in the city suitable and vacant could be utilised by the unemployed under suitable supervision for growing vegetables.
Monthly meetings have been held during the year and attended by your representative.
B. C. Aston.
Mr Aston, representative of the Institute on the Institute of Horticulture, moved the adoption of the report, which was seconded by Mr Pycroft and carried.
Report of the Polar Year Committee for the Year ended 31st March, 1933.
In April, 1932, a cable was received from Dr la Cour, President of the International Polar Year Commission, asking if the New Zealand Committee could use at Macquarie Island, Christchurch, or elsewhere a set of “quick run” magnetographs if provided by the Commission. The magnetographs referred to are of a type developed by Dr la Cour for the Polar Year work. They are run twelve times as fast as the ordinary magnetographs, enabling changes in the earth's magnetism to be recorded in detail and timed accurately.
It was ascertained that to install the magnetographs at the Christchurch Observatory's magnetic station at Amberley and to tabulate the records for publication would cost approximately £200. Dr la Cour's offer was accepted, and an appeal made to the public for funds. With the assistance of the incorporated societies in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedm £165 9s 10d was collected. The state of the fund will be gathered from the balance sheet.
The instruments have been received and installed by Mr H. F. Skey, Director of the Christchurch Magnetic Observatory, at Amberley, where they are working satisfactorily.
Dr la Cour stated in a letter written on the 6th December, 1932, that “Some very interesting records have already been received. Thus as far as concerns the quick-run magnetic records the material up to date shows clearly the exact simultaneity over the earth of the sudden commencement of magnetic perturbations and various categories of oscillations, among which some oscillations are recorded with approximately the same amplitude, for instance, at the Azores and in Copenhagen, while other oscillations are very frequent in the Arctic regions, but of much smaller extension. Further, there are some still
quicker oscillations with time of oscillation of about I second, the occurrence of which could be recorded. Such oscillations occur simultaneously at stations some few hundred kilometres apart.”
It is thus clear that the observational material being collected will enable the variations in terrestrial magnetism to be analysed with far greater accuracy than hitherto. A great deal is, therefore, sure to be learnt regarding their causes. Any such discoveries will have very important bearings on other branches of geophysics.
In addition to the magnetic work it has been possible to arrange that determinations of the height of the Heaviside layer should be carried out. For this purpose, apparatus has been loaned by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and is now being installed at Victoria College, Wellington, under the direction of Professor Florance and Dr M. A. F. Barnett.
Special meteorological work is being done at the Meteorological Office, Wellington, and the Christchurch Magnetic Observatory. It is understood also that the New Zealand Astronomical Society's Solar Committee is recording solar and auroral phenomena.
New Zealand's contribution to the Polar Year scheme will thus not be altogether negligible.
Secretary, N.Z. Polar Year Committee.
Magnetograph Fund Balance Sheet.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|By Subscriptions||165||9||10||Expenses connected with Installation, Amberley||15||13||5|
|Cable, Postage, etc.||1||1||2|
|Cash in Hand||0||5||9|
|Balance in P.O.S.B.||148||9||6|
The report of the Polar Year Committee was moved by Dr Kidson, seconded by Professor Speight, and carried.
Great Barrier Reef Committee.
Report of Representative.
The committee met three times during the year 1932.
All the apparatus and equipment left by Dr Yonge's expedition has been handed to the committee for storage or sale.
The Secretary, Land Administration Board, advised that Hinchinbrook Island has been proclaimed a reserve for a National Park.
It has been decided to resume survey on the Reef by a party working from a shore base, and a camp was established on Molle Island in July last.
An investigation of Peel Island in Moreton Bay showed a considerable amount of coral. Coralline algae played a large part in binding together the detrital coral fragments.
The financial statement shows a balance of £2255.
W. R. B. Oliver,
New Zealand Institute Representative.
The report of this committee was moved by Mr Oliver and adopted.