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Historical Records of New Zealand

Government and General Order

Government and General Order.

1st December. 1813.

Whereas many, and it is to be feared just, complaints have been lately made of the conduct of divers masters of colonial and British ships, and of their crews, towards the natives of New Zealand, of Otaheite, and of the other islands in the South Pacific Ocean: And whereas several ships, their masters and crews, have lately fallen a sacrifice to the indiscriminate revenge of the natives of the said islands, exasperated by such conduct: And whereas the lives and properties not only of His Majesty’s subjects, but of the subjects of other Powers, touching at such islands, are likely to be put in continual jeopardy, and the farther trade and intercourse with the said islands greatly endangered, if not wholly prevented, unless some effectual measures are taken to prevent the continuance of a conduct and behaviour, at once repulsive to humanity and interest: It is therefore hereby ordered and declared by His Excellency the Governor that from and after the first day of January next ensuing the date hereof, no ship or vessel, either of British, India, or plantation registry, shall be suffered to clear out from this port, or any other port within the territory of New South Wales, for New Zealand or for any islands whatsoever in the South Pacific Ocean, or South Seas, unless the master of the said ship or vessel, if of British or Indian registry, and the master and owners of the said ship or vessel, if of plantation registry, shall become bound by his or their deed or deeds in writing to be signed with his or their seal or seals to the Naval Officer for the time being, of this port, or of such other port in this territory as such ship or vessel may clear out from, in the penal sum of one thousand pounds sterling, to be paid to such Naval Officer, his executors, administrators, or assigns, to and for the use of His Majesty, upon breach of the condition thereunder to be written, which condition shall be as follows:—

page 317

“Whereas the ship or vessel called the——of——registry, whereof——is master, and——is or are owner or owners is about to be cleared out for New Zealand, or for the South Seas, or for some or one of the islands in the South Seas, pursuant to a certain Proclamation of His Excellency the Governor, bearing date the first day of December, 1813. Now the condition of this obligation is such, that if the above bounden —— master of the said vessel, and the officers and crew of such vessel, shall each and every of them, peaceably and properly demean themselves, and be of their good behaviour towards the natives of New Zealand, or of such of the islands in the South Seas as the said vessel may touch at in the course of this her voyage; and if they shall not commit any act of trespass upon the plantations, gardens, lands, habitations, burial-grounds, tombs, or properties of the natives of the said islands, or any of them; and if they shall not make war or cause war to be made upon them, or in any way interfere in the disputes, quarrels, and controversies of the said natives, or stir up, excite, or foment any animosities among them; and if they shall leave the natives of the said islands to the free, uninterrupted, and undisturbed enjoyment of their religious ceremonies, rites, or observances; and if the said master, officers, or crew or any of them shall not ship any of the male natives of any of the said islands, nor take away any such natives from any such islands without their free will and consent and the free will and consent of their chiefs, parents, or others to whom they may be subject; and if the said master, officers, and crew shall not ship or take away any of the female natives of the said islands from the said islands without such free will and consent as aforesaid, and also without having first obtained the consent and approbation in writing of His Excellency the Governor of this territory, or other person actually administering the powers of Government in the same; and in case the master and commanding officer of such vessel shall, by and with such consent as aforesaid, ship any male native or natives of any of the said islands either as a mariner, or diver, or for any other purpose whatsoever, then, and in that case, if the said master or commanding officer shall discharge from the said vessel all or any such male native or natives so shipped on board the same, wheresoever he shall be requested, by him or them so to do, first paying him or them such wages or price as may be lawfully or reasonably due to him or them for his or their services at the time of such discharge, then this obligation to be void and of no effect, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue. And whereas the natives of all the said islands are under the protection of His Majesty, and entitled to the good offices of his subjects; all persons whatsoever charged by the oath of credible witnesses with any acts of rapine, plunder, page 318 robbery, piracy, murder, or other offences against the law of nature and of nations, against the persons and properties of any of the natives of any of the said islands, will, upon due conviction, be further punished with the utmost rigour of the law.

Lachlan Macquarie.