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Tuatara: Volume 23, Issue 3, May 1979

THE 1907 EXPEDITION TO THE AUCKLAND AND CAMPBELL ISLANDS, AND AN UNPUBLISHED REPORT BY B. C. ASTON

page 133

THE 1907 EXPEDITION TO THE AUCKLAND AND CAMPBELL ISLANDS, AND AN UNPUBLISHED REPORT BY B. C. ASTON

The 1907 expedition to the Auckland and Campbell Islands was organised by the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, now the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The main object was to extend the magnetic survey of New Zealand but other surveys were planned at the same time. The first two relevant entries in the Minutes of the Council of the Philosophical Institute were as follows:

22 August 1906. ‘Magnetic survey: the communications from the Otago and Wellington Institutes having been read, it was decided that the proposed survey — magnetic, botanical, biological and zoological — of the outlying islands could not be carried out this year and that a subcommittee consisting of the President1 and Drs Cockayne and Farr be appointed to delimit more particularly the work of the proposed survey. The Secretary was instructed to inform the Otago and Wellington Institutes and thank them for their promised support.’

21 November 1906. ‘Survey of the outlying islands: the President reported that the subcommittee appointed to deal with the subject of the proposed scientific survey of the outlying islands of New Zealand had interviewed the Hon. Minister of Lands2 on the subject and forwarded to him a communication setting forth the objectives of the proposed survey and had sent copies of this letter to the various branches of the N.Z. Institute requesting their co-operation in the matter. Letters were read from the Otago, Auckland and Wellington Institutes supporting the Canterbury Institute in this matter.’

From then on most Council meetings dealt with expedition arrangements, the main ones being transport and membership.

On 9 April, 1907, it was recorded that ‘the committee set up to further this expedition had waited upon the Minister of Marine3 and had been informed by him that neither the ‘Hinemoa ’ nor the ‘Tutanekai’ would be available.’ This was because of a contemplated marine survey of the New Zealand coast (Annual Report, Trans. 40: 574). It was decided to telegraph the Acting Premier 4 asking him to receive a deputation consisting of the President,5 Dr Chilton. Dr Cockayne, Mr Waite and Dr Farr about this matter. The deputation met the Acting Premier and by 8 June news was received page 134 that the Government Steamer would be available. Arrangements were soon made to land two parties, one at Auckland and one at Campbell Island to be picked up when the vessel returned from the Antipodes and the Bountys.

On 19 July, 1907, a list of 35 proposed members of the expedition was adopted by Council together with their allocation to either Auckland or Campbell Islands. I have given this list below and added in parentheses the names of members invited later to fill vacancies. I have also added the position held by each invited member at the time of the expedition. based on information in various histories or calendars of the University Colleges, and various editions of Who's Who in New Zealand. In the third column I have given the original allocation to islands and in the fourth column the final allocation. The Minister of Lands. Hon. R. McNab. was invited to lead the expedition but could not get away.

Magnetic Survey
Dr C. C. Farr Lecturer in Physics and Surveying Canterbury College, Christchurch AA
Mr H. D. Cook Lecturer in Mathematics, Canterbury College AA
Mr H. F. Skey Magnetic Observatory, Christchurch CC
Mr E. Kidson Canterbury College CC
Mr C. A'C. Opie (Assistant to Surveyors) AC
Botany
Dr L. Cockayne Christchurch AA
Mr B. C. Aston Chief Chemist, Dept. of Agriculture, Wellington AA
Mr F. G. Gibbs Nelson A-
Mr A. H. Cockayne Assistant Biologist, Dept. of Agriculture, Wellington A-
Mr J. S. Tennant Inspector of Schools, Wellington CA
(Cap. A. A. Dorrien-Smith) Tresco Abbey, Scilly Isles - A
Mr R. M. Laing Science Master, Boys High School, Christchurch CC
Mr T. F. Cheeseman Curator, Auckland Museum C -
Mr T. W. Adams Greendale, Canterbury C -
(Mr J. Crosby-Smith) Invercargill - C
Geology
Mr R. Speight Lecturer in Geology, Canterbury College A A
Dr J. M. Bell Director, Geological Survey, Wellington A