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Source: The Illustrated London News, Jan 30, 1864, p.99
The ordinary meeting of the members of the Royal Geographical Society was held at Burlington House, Piccadilly, on Monday night, under the presidency of Sir Roderick Murchison, and was most numerously attended. A highly interesting communication was read from Dr. Hector, the geologist and geographer, giving minute statistical details of the results of his exploration of the west side of New Zealand, and the paper was listened to with marked attention. Its interest was enhanced by the fact of a volunteer witness to its accuracy in the person of a gentleman named Harper, who gave to the meeting the results of his experience in an exploration he had himself made in the same districts so long ago as 1857. After describing the extent of the Alpine forests, so densely filled with the forest birch and other timber, it was asked of Mr. Harper whether on the west coast there were any harbours by means of which vessels could take in cargoes of the timber, which would he most valuable in Australia. Mr. Harper replied in the negative, and added that such harbours could be constructed as regarded communications between New Zealand and the Australian colonies. A communication from Dr. Hines, stating the results of his exploration of the southern parts of Labrador, brought the proceedings of the evening to a termination.