Norfolk Island
Overview
 
Norfolk Island ˈnɔrfək ˈaɪlənd (Norfuk
Norfuk language
Norfuk is the language spoken on Norfolk Island by the local residents. It is a blend of English of the 18th century and Tahitian originally introduced by settlers from the Pitcairn Islands who spoke Pitkern. It is the co-official language of Norfolk Island.As travel to and from Norfolk Island...

: Norfuk Ailen ) is a small island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 located between Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

.

Originally colonised by East Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

ns, Norfolk Island was colonised by Britain as part of its settlement in Australia in 1788. It then served as a convict penal settlement until 1794, when it was abandoned until 1856, when permanent residence on the island for civilians began.
Encyclopedia
Norfolk Island ˈnɔrfək ˈaɪlənd (Norfuk
Norfuk language
Norfuk is the language spoken on Norfolk Island by the local residents. It is a blend of English of the 18th century and Tahitian originally introduced by settlers from the Pitcairn Islands who spoke Pitkern. It is the co-official language of Norfolk Island.As travel to and from Norfolk Island...

: Norfuk Ailen ) is a small island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 located between Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

.

Originally colonised by East Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

ns, Norfolk Island was colonised by Britain as part of its settlement in Australia in 1788. It then served as a convict penal settlement until 1794, when it was abandoned until 1856, when permanent residence on the island for civilians began. In 1901, the island became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia which it has remained until this day.

The evergreen Norfolk Island pine
Araucaria heterophylla
Araucaria heterophylla is a distinctive conifer, a member of the ancient and now disjointly distributed family Araucariaceae. As its vernacular name Norfolk Island Pine implies, the tree is endemic to Norfolk Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand and New...

 is a symbol of the island and thus pictured on its flag (see illustration). Native to the island, the pine is a key export industry for Norfolk Island, being a popular ornamental tree on mainland Australia, where two related species grow, and also in Europe.

Early history

Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n seafarers either from the Kermadec Islands
Kermadec Islands
The Kermadec Islands are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand's North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga...

 north of New Zealand or from the North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

 of New Zealand. They arrived in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, and survived for several generations before disappearing.

The first European known to have sighted the island was Captain James Cook, in 1774, on his second voyage to the South Pacific on HMS Resolution
HMS Resolution (Cook)
HMS Resolution was a sloop of the Royal Navy, and the ship in which Captain James Cook made his second and third voyages of exploration in the Pacific...

. He named it after the Duchess of Norfolk, wife of Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk
Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk
Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal was a British peer. The son of Lord Thomas Howard and Mary Elizabeth Savile, he succeeded as Duke of Norfolk in 1732, after the death of his brother, Thomas Howard, 8th Duke of Norfolk.He married Mary Blount , daughter of Edward Blount and Anne...

 (1685–1777).

Sir John Call
Sir John Call, 1st Baronet
Sir John Call, 1st Baronet was an English engineer and baronet.He was born at Fenny Park, Tiverton, Devon, educated at Blundell's School and went to India at the age of 17 with Benjamin Robins, the chief engineer and captain-general of artillery in the East India Company's settlements...

 argued the advantages of Norfolk Island in that it was uninhabited and that flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 grew there. In 1786 the British government included Norfolk Island as an auxiliary settlement, as proposed by John Call, in its plan for colonization of New South Wales. The decision to settle Norfolk Island was taken due to Empress Catherine of Russia
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg...

's decision to restrict sales of hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

. Practically all the hemp and flax required by the Royal Navy for cordage and sailcloth was imported from Russia.

When the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson
Port Jackson
Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. It is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge...

 in January 1788, Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King
Philip Gidley King
Captain Philip Gidley King RN was a British naval officer and colonial administrator. He is best known as the official founder of the first European settlement on Norfolk Island and as the third Governor of New South Wales.-Early years and establishment of Norfolk Island settlement:King was born...

 to lead a party of 15 convicts and seven free men to take control of Norfolk Island and prepare for its commercial development. They arrived on 6 March 1788.

During the first year of the settlement, which was also called "Sydney" like its parent, more convicts and soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s were sent to the island from New South Wales.

Nineteenth century

As early as 1794, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales Francis Grose suggested its closure as a penal settlement, as it was too remote and difficult for shipping and too costly to maintain. The first group of people left in February 1805, and by 1808 only about 200 remained, forming a small settlement until the remnants were removed in 1813. A small party remained to slaughter stock and destroy all buildings, so that there would be no inducement for anyone, especially from other European powers, to visit and lay claim to the place. From 15 February 1814 to 6 June 1825 the island was abandoned.

In 1824 the British government instructed the Governor of New South Wales Thomas Brisbane
Thomas Brisbane
Major-General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet GCH, GCB, FRS, FRSE was a British soldier, colonial Governor and astronomer.-Early life:...

 to occupy Norfolk Island as a place to send “the worst description of convicts”. Its remoteness, previously seen as a disadvantage, was now viewed as an asset for the detention of recalcitrant male prisoners. The convicts detained have long been assumed be a hardcore of recidivists, or 'doubly-convicted capital respites' - that is, men transported to Australia who committed fresh colonial crimes for which they were sentenced to death, and were spared the gallows on condition of life at Norfolk Island. However, a recent study has demonstrated, utilising a database of 6,458 Norfolk Island convicts, that the reality was somewhat different: more than half were detained at Norfolk Island without ever receiving a colonial conviction, and only 15% had been reprieved from a death sentence. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of convicts sent to Norfolk Island had committed non-violent property sentences, the average length of detention was three years, and the scale of punishments inflicted upon the prisoners was significantly less than assumed.

The second penal settlement began to be wound down by the British government after 1847, and the last convicts were removed to Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 in May 1855. The island was abandoned because transportation from the United Kingdom to Van Diemen's Land had ceased in 1853, to be replaced by penal servitude in the UK.

On 8 June 1856, the next settlement began on Norfolk Island. These were the descendants of Tahitians and the HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty , famous as the scene of the Mutiny on the Bounty on 28 April 1789, was originally a three-masted cargo ship, the Bethia, purchased by the British Admiralty, then modified and commissioned as His Majesty's Armed Vessel the...

 mutineers, along with Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian was a master's mate on board the Bounty during William Bligh's fateful voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants...

. They resettled from the Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
The Pitcairn Islands , officially named the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, form a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Pacific...

, which had become too small for their growing population. They left Pitcairn Islands on 3 May 1856 and arrived with 194 persons on 8 June. The Pitcairners occupied many of the buildings remaining from the penal settlements, and gradually established traditional farming and whaling industries on the island. Although some families decided to return to Pitcairn in 1858 and 1863, the island's population continued to grow. They accepted additional settlers, who often arrived with whaling fleets.

In 1867, the headquarters of the Melanesian Mission
Melanesian Mission
The Melanesian Mission is an Anglican missionary agency supporting the work of local Anglican churches in Melanesia. It was established to purchase the ship Southern Cross. Today it continues to provide financial and staffing support for the Church of the Province of Melanesia, an independent...

 of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 was established on the island. In 1920 the Mission was relocated from Norfolk Island to the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 to be closer to the population of focus.

Twentieth century

After the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Norfolk Island was placed under the authority of the new Commonwealth government to be administered as an external territory.
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the island became a key airbase
Norfolk Island Airport
Norfolk Island Airport is the only airport on Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia...

 and refuelling depot between Australia and New Zealand, and New Zealand and the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

. Since Norfolk Island fell within New Zealand's area of responsibility it was garrisoned by a New Zealand Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

 unit known as N Force
N Force
N Force was a small New Zealand Army unit which garrisoned Norfolk Island between October 1942 and February 1944. N Force was formed by detaching units from the 3rd New Zealand Division. As Norfolk Island never came under attack N Force did not see action....

 at a large Army camp which had the capacity to house a 1,500 strong force. N Force relieved a company of the Second Australian Imperial Force
Second Australian Imperial Force
The Second Australian Imperial Force was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Under the Defence Act , neither the part-time Militia nor the full-time Permanent Military Force could serve outside Australia or its territories unless they volunteered to...

. The island proved too remote to come under attack during the war and N Force left the island in February 1944.

In 1979, Norfolk was granted limited self-government by Australia, under which the island elects a government that runs most of the island's affairs. As such, residents of Norfolk Island are not represented in the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

, making them the only group of residents of an Australian state or territory not represented there.

In 2006, a formal review process took place, in which the Australian government considered revising this model of government. The review was completed on 20 December 2006, when it was decided that there would be no changes in the governance of Norfolk Island.

Financial problems and a reduction in tourism led to Norfolk Island's administration appealing to the Australian federal government for assistance in 2010. As a result Islanders will pay income tax for the first time but will be eligible for greater welfare benefits.

Geography

Norfolk Island is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of the Australian mainland. Norfolk Island is the main island of the island group the territory encompasses and is located at 29°02′S 167°57′E. It has an area of 34.6 km² (13.3 mi²), with no large-scale internal bodies of water and 32 km of coastline. The island's highest point is Mount Bates
Mount Bates
Mount Bates is the highest point of Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, at 319 metres above sea level....

 (319 m above sea level), located in the northwest quadrant of the island. The majority of the terrain is suitable for farming and other agricultural uses. Phillip Island
Phillip Island (Norfolk Island)
Phillip Island is an uninhabited island located south of Norfolk Island in the Southwest Pacific, and part of the Norfolk Island group. It was named in 1788 by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King for Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales. It is part of the Australian territory of Norfolk...

, the second largest island of the territory, is located at 29°07′S 167°57′E, seven kilometres south of the main island.

The coastline of Norfolk Island consists, to varying degrees, of cliff
Cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

 faces. A downward slope exists towards Slaughter Bay and Emily Bay, the site of the original colonial settlement of Kingston. There are no safe harbour facilities on Norfolk Island, with loading jetties
Jetty
A jetty is any of a variety of structures used in river, dock, and maritime works that are generally carried out in pairs from river banks, or in continuation of river channels at their outlets into deep water; or out into docks, and outside their entrances; or for forming basins along the...

 existing at Kingston and Cascade Bay. All goods not domestically produced are brought in by ship, usually to Cascade Bay. Emily Bay, protected from the Pacific Ocean by a small coral reef, is the only safe area for recreational swimming, although surfing waves can be found at Anson and Ball Bays.

The climate is subtropical and mild, with little seasonal differentiation. The island is the eroded remnant of a basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

ic volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 active around 2.3 to 3 million years ago, with inland areas now consisting mainly of rolling plains. It forms the highest point on the Norfolk Ridge
Norfolk Ridge
The Norfolk Ridge is a long submarine ridge running between New Caledonia and New Zealand, about 1300 km off the east-coast of Australia. Little is known about the Norfolk Ridge; however, it generally lies about 2000 m below sea level and consists of Late Cretaceous continental crust. It is...

, part of the submerged continent Zealandia
Zealandia (continent)
Zealandia , also known as Tasmantis or the New Zealand continent, is a nearly submerged continental fragment that sank after breaking away from Australia 60–85 million years ago, having separated from Antarctica between 85 and 130 million years ago...

.

The area surrounding Mount Bates is preserved as the Norfolk Island National Park
Norfolk Island National Park
Norfolk Island National Park is a protected area of 6.50 km² established in 1984 and managed by the Commonwealth of Australia. It comprises two sections, the Mount Pitt section on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific Ocean with an area of 4.60 km² and the neighbouring 1.90 km² Phillip Island, as...

. The park, covering around 10% of the land of the island, contains remnants of the forests which originally covered the island, including stands of subtropical rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

.

The park also includes the two smaller islands to the south of Norfolk Island, Nepean Island
Nepean Island (Norfolk Island)
Nepean Island is a small uninhabited island located at, about 1 km south off a golf course on Norfolk Island in the Southwest Pacific. It was named in 1788 by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King for Evan Nepean, Under Secretary of the Home Department of the United Kingdom...

 and Phillip Island
Phillip Island (Norfolk Island)
Phillip Island is an uninhabited island located south of Norfolk Island in the Southwest Pacific, and part of the Norfolk Island group. It was named in 1788 by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King for Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales. It is part of the Australian territory of Norfolk...

. The vegetation of Phillip Island was devastated due to the introduction during the penal era of pest animals such as pigs and rabbits, giving it a red-brown colour as viewed from Norfolk; however, pest control
Pest control
Pest control refers to the regulation or management of a species defined as a pest, usually because it is perceived to be detrimental to a person's health, the ecology or the economy.-History:...

 and remediation work by park staff has recently brought some improvement to the Phillip Island environment.

The major settlement on Norfolk Island is Burnt Pine
Burnt Pine
Burnt Pine is the largest town on Norfolk Island . It is the main commercial hub of the island, and travel from one side of the island to another generally involves passing through Burnt Pine...

, located predominantly along Taylors Road, where the shopping centre, post office, liquor store, telephone exchange and community hall are located. Settlement also exists over much of the island, consisting largely of widely separated homesteads.

Government House, the official residence of the Administrator, is located on Quality Row in what was the penal settlement of Kingston. Other government buildings, including the court, Legislative Assembly and Administration, are also located there. Kingston's role is largely a ceremonial one, however, with most of the economic impetus coming from Burnt Pine.

Climate

Norfolk Island has a marine subtropical climate, which is best characterised as mild. The temperature almost never falls below 10 °C (50 °F) or rises above 26 °C (78.8 °F). The absolute maximum recorded temperature is 28.4 °C (83.1 °F), while the absolute minimum is 6.2 °C (43.2 °F). Average annual precipitation is 1292.5 millimetres (50.9 in), with most rain falling from April to August. Other months receive significant amounts of precipitation as well.

Flora

Norfolk Island has 174 native plants; 51 of them are endemic. At least 18 of the endemic species are rare or threatened. The Norfolk Island Palm (Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri is a species of palm native to Norfolk Island and to the Kermadec Islands . Norfolk Island is the type locality. The common names on Norfolk Island are 'Norfolk Island Palm' or 'Niau'...

) and the Smooth Tree-fern (Cyathea brownii
Cyathea brownii
Cyathea brownii, commonly known as the Norfolk tree fern or smooth tree fern, is probably the largest tree fern species in the world. An endemic of Norfolk Island, in the wild it is reported to reach 20 m or more in height. The broad, lance shaped, bipinnate-pinnatifid to tripinnate fronds can...

), the tallest tree-fern in the world, are common in the Norfolk Island National Park but rare elsewhere on the island. Before European colonization, most of Norfolk Island was covered with subtropical rain forest, the canopy of which was made of Araucaria heterophylla
Araucaria heterophylla
Araucaria heterophylla is a distinctive conifer, a member of the ancient and now disjointly distributed family Araucariaceae. As its vernacular name Norfolk Island Pine implies, the tree is endemic to Norfolk Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand and New...

(Norfolk Island Pine) in exposed areas, and the palm Rhopalostylis baueri and tree ferns Cyathea brownii and C. australis
Cyathea australis
Cyathea australis, also known as the Rough Tree Fern, is a species of tree fern native to southeastern Queensland, New South Wales and southern Victoria in Australia, as well as Tasmania and Norfolk Island. It grows in moist shady forest, both coastal and montane, at an altitude of up to 1280 m,...

in moister protected areas. The understory
Understory
Understory is the term for the area of a forest which grows at the lowest height level below the forest canopy. Plants in the understory consist of a mixture of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees together with understory shrubs and herbs...

 was thick with liana
Liana
A liana is any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. Lianas are especially characteristic of tropical moist deciduous...

s and ferns covered the forest floor. Only one small tract (5 km²) of rainforest remains, which was declared as the Norfolk Island National Park
Norfolk Island National Park
Norfolk Island National Park is a protected area of 6.50 km² established in 1984 and managed by the Commonwealth of Australia. It comprises two sections, the Mount Pitt section on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific Ocean with an area of 4.60 km² and the neighbouring 1.90 km² Phillip Island, as...

 in 1986.

This forest has been infested with several introduced plants
Introduced species
An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...

. The cliffs and steep slopes of Mount Pitt supported a community of shrubs, herbaceous plant
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

s, and climbers. A few tracts of clifftop and seashore vegetation have been preserved. The rest of the island has been cleared for pasture and housing. Grazing and introduced weeds currently threaten the native flora, displacing it in some areas. In fact, there are more weed species than native species on Norfolk Island.

Fauna

As a relatively small and isolated oceanic island, Norfolk has few land birds but a high degree of endemicity among them. Many of the endemic species and subspecies have become extinct
Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

 as a result of massive clearance of the island’s native vegetation of subtropical rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

 for agriculture, hunting and persecution as agricultural pests. The birds have also suffered from the introduction of mammals such as rat
Rat
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus...

s, cat
Cat
The cat , also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felids and felines, is a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin and household pests...

s, pig
Pig
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

s and goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

s, as well as from introduced competitors such as Common Blackbirds and Crimson Rosella
Crimson Rosella
The Crimson Rosella is a parrot native to eastern and south eastern Australia which has been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. It is commonly found in, but not restricted to, mountain forests and gardens. The species as it now stands has subsumed two former separate species, the Yellow...

s.

Extinctions include that of the endemic Norfolk Island Kākā
Norfolk Island Kaka
| name = Norfolk Kaka| image = Nestor productus.jpg| image_width = 250px| image_caption = Specimen in La Specola| status = EX | status_system = IUCN3.1| extinct = 1851?| regnum = Animalia| phylum = Chordata| classis = Aves| ordo = Psittaciformes...

 and Norfolk Ground Dove along with endemic subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of pigeon
Norfolk Island Pigeon
The Norfolk Island Pigeon , sometimes called a Wood Quest, was a subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon that inhabited Norfolk Island. It went extinct around the turn of the 20th century.- Ecology :...

, starling
Norfolk Starling
The Norfolk Starling , was a small bird in the starling family. It is the extinct nominate subspecies of the Tasman Starling, the only other subspecies being the Lord Howe Starling .-Distribution:...

, triller
Norfolk Island Triller
The Norfolk Island Triller was a small passerine bird in the Cuckoo-shrike family, Campephagidae. It is the extinct nominate subspecies of the Long-tailed Triller which was endemic to Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand...

, thrush
Norfolk Island Thrush
The Norfolk Island Thrush , also known as the Grey-headed Blackbird or Guava Bird, was a bird in the Thrush family endemic to Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Tasman Sea...

 and boobook owl
Norfolk Island Boobook
The Norfolk Boobook , also known as the Norfolk Island Boobook, Norfolk Island Owl or Norfolk Island Morepork, was a bird in the true owl family endemic to Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. It is an extinct subspecies of the Southern Boobook...

, though the latter’s genes persist in a hybrid population descended from the last female. Other endemic birds are the White-chested White-eye
White-chested White-eye
The White-chested White-eye also known as White-breasted White-eye or Norfolk White-eye is a passerine from the family Zosteropidae. It is endemic to Norfolk Island between New Caledonia and New Zealand and it is regarded as one of the rarest birds in the world...

, which may be extinct, the Norfolk Parakeet, the Norfolk Gerygone, the Slender-billed White-eye
Slender-billed White-eye
The Slender-billed White-eye is a species of bird in the Zosteropidae family.It is endemic to Norfolk Island.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.It is threatened by habitat loss....

 and endemic subspecies of the Pacific Robin
Norfolk Island Pacific Robin
The Norfolk Island Pacific Robin , also known as the Norfolk Island Scarlet Robin or Norfolk Island Robin, is a small bird in the Australasian robin family, Petroicidae...

 and Golden Whistler
Norfolk Island Golden Whistler
The Norfolk Island Golden Whistler , also known as the Norfolk Island Whistler or Norfolk Island Thickhead, and locally as the “Tamey”, is a small bird in the whistler family, Pachycephalidae...

.

The Norfolk Island Group is also home to breeding seabirds. The Providence Petrel
Providence Petrel
The Providence Petrel is a species that burrows in one location; isolated Lord Howe Island, some 800km from the Australian mainland in the Tasman Sea....

 was hunted to local extinction by the beginning of the 19th century, but has shown signs of returning to breed on Phillip Island
Phillip Island (Norfolk Island)
Phillip Island is an uninhabited island located south of Norfolk Island in the Southwest Pacific, and part of the Norfolk Island group. It was named in 1788 by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King for Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales. It is part of the Australian territory of Norfolk...

. Other seabirds breeding there include the White-necked Petrel
White-necked Petrel
The White-necked Petrel , also known as the White-naped Petrel, is a species of seabird in the Procellariidae family. During non-breeding season it occurs throughout a large part of the Pacific, but it is only known to breed on Macauley Island in New Zealand's Kermadec Islands and the Australian...

, Kermadec Petrel
Kermadec Petrel
The Kermadec Petrel is a species of seabird in the Procellariidae family.-Distribution:It is found in Australia, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn, and the United States....

, Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
The Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Puffinus pacificus is a medium-large shearwater in the seabird family Procellariidae. It is one of the shearwater species that is sometimes referred to as a Muttonbird, like the Sooty Shearwater of New Zealand and the Short-tailed Shearwater of Australia...

, Australasian Gannet, Red-tailed Tropicbird
Red-tailed Tropicbird
The Red-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda, is a seabird that nests across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the rarest of the tropicbirds, yet is still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened. It nests in colonies on oceanic islands....

 and Grey Ternlet. The Sooty Tern
Sooty Tern
The Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscatus , is a seabird of the tern family . It is a bird of the tropical oceans, breeding on islands throughout the equatorial zone. Colloquially, it is known as the Wideawake Tern or just wideawake...

 (known locally as the Whale Bird) has traditionally been subject to seasonal egg harvesting by Norfolk Islanders.

Norfolk Island has only one native mammal, Gould's Wattled Bat
Gould's Wattled Bat
Gould's Wattled Bat is a species of Australian wattled bat named after the English naturalist John Gould.-Range:C. gouldii is known throughout mainland Australia as well as Tasmania, New Caledonia, and Norfolk Island.-Appearance:C...

 (Chalinolobus gouldii). It is very rare and may be extinct on the island.

Demographics

The population of Norfolk Island was estimated in July 2010 to be 2,151, with an annual population growth rate of 0.006%. In July 2003, 20.2% of the population were 14 years and under, 63.9% were 15 to 64 years and 15.9% were 65 years and over.

Most islanders are of either European
European Australian
A European Australian is a citizen or resident of Australia who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

-only (mostly British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

) or combined European
European Australian
A European Australian is a citizen or resident of Australia who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

-Tahitian
Tahitians
The Tahitians, or Maohis, are indigenous peoples of Tahiti and thirteen other Society Islands, as well as the modern population of these lands of mixed ancestry . The Tahitians are one of the most significant indigenous Polynesian peoples of Oceania....

 ancestry, being descendants of the Bounty mutineers as well as more recent arrivals from Australia and New Zealand. About half of the islanders can trace their roots back to Pitcairn Island.

This common heritage has led to a limited number of surname
Surname
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

s among the islanders — a limit constraining enough that the island's telephone directory also includes nicknames for many subscribers, such as Cane Toad, Dar Bizziebee, Lettuce Leaf, Goof, Paw Paw, Diddles, Rubber Duck, Carrots and Tarzan.

The majority of islanders are Protestant Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. After the death of the first chaplain Rev G.H.Nobbs in 1884, a Methodist church was formed and in 1891 a Seventh-day Adventist led by one of Nobbs' sons. Some unhappiness with G.H.Nobbs, the more organised and formal ritual of the Church of England service arising from the influence of the Melanesian Mission, decline in spirituality, the influence of visiting American whalers, literature sent by Christians overseas impressed by the Pitcairn story, and the adoption of Seventh-day Adventism by the descendants of the mutineers still on Pitcairn, all contributed to these developments. The Roman Catholic Church began work in 1957 and in the late 1990s a group left the former Methodist (then Uniting Church) and formed a charismatic fellowship. In 2001, 34.9% (or 710) of the 2037 ordinary residents identified as Anglican, 11.2% (or 229) as Uniting Church, 11.7% (or 239) as Roman Catholic, 2.8% (or 57) as Seventh-day Adventist
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 and 2.4% as a Community Church of Pentecostal character. Typical ordinary congregations in any church do not exceed 30 local residents as of 2010. The three older denominations have good facilities. Ministers are usually short-term visitors.

Literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 is not recorded officially, but it can be assumed to be roughly at a par with Australia's literacy rate, as islanders attend a school which uses a New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 curriculum, before traditionally moving to the mainland for further study.

Islanders speak both English and a creole language
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

 known as Norfuk
Norfuk language
Norfuk is the language spoken on Norfolk Island by the local residents. It is a blend of English of the 18th century and Tahitian originally introduced by settlers from the Pitcairn Islands who spoke Pitkern. It is the co-official language of Norfolk Island.As travel to and from Norfolk Island...

, a blend of 1700s English and Tahitian
Tahitian language
Tahitian is an indigenous language spoken mainly in the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It is an Eastern Polynesian language closely related to the other indigenous languages spoken in French Polynesia: Marquesan, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan, and Austral Islands languages...

. The Norfuk language is decreasing in popularity as more tourists travel to the island and more young people leave for work and study reasons; however, there are efforts to keep it alive via dictionaries and the renaming of some tourist attractions to their Norfuk equivalents. In April 2005 it was declared a co-official language of the island.

Emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 is growing as many islanders take advantage of the close ties between Norfolk and Australia and New Zealand. The sole school on the island provides education to Australian Year 12; therefore, any student seeking to complete tertiary study must travel overseas. Additionally, the small economy of the island causes many skilled workers to emigrate as well.

Culture

While there was no "indigenous" culture on the island at the time of settlement, the Tahitian influence of the Pitcairn settlers has resulted in some aspects of Polynesian culture being adapted to that of Norfolk, including the hula
Hula
Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant or song . It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form....

 dance. Local cuisine also shows influences from the same region.

Islanders traditionally spend a lot of time outdoors, with fishing and other aquatic pursuits being common pastimes, an aspect which has become more noticeable as the island becomes more accessible to tourism. Most island families have at least one member involved in primary production in some form.

As all the Pitcairn settlers were related to each other, islanders have historically been informal both to each other and to visitors. The most noticeable aspect of this is the "Norfolk Wave", with drivers waving to each other (ranging from a wave using the entire arm through to a raised index finger from the steering wheel) as they pass.

Religious observance remains an important part of life for some islanders, particularly the older generations, but actual attendance is about 8% of the resident population plus some tourists. In the 2006 census 19.9% had no religion compared with 13.2% in 1996. Businesses are closed on Sundays.

One of the island's residents is the novelist Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, , is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.-Life:McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved...

, whose works include The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author.In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run 27–30 March, became the United States' second highest rated mini-series of all time behind Roots; both series were produced by...

and the Masters of Rome
Masters of Rome
Masters of Rome is a series of historical fiction novels by author Colleen McCullough set in ancient Rome during the last days of the old Roman Republic; it primarily chronicles the lives and careers of Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompeius Magnus, Gaius Julius Caesar, and the early...

series as well as Morgan's Run
Morgan's Run
- The book :Morgan's Run is a historical novel by Colleen McCullough published in 2000 about the life of an English prisoner driven to the first penal colonies in Australia in the 18th century...

, set, in large part, on Norfolk Island.

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy , often referred to as "The Queen of 70s Pop", is an Australian-American singer and actress. In the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States, where she placed fifteen singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six of those 15 songs made the Top 10...

 also moved to the island for a period but was denied a long term entry permit.

American novelist James A. Michener
James A. Michener
James Albert Michener was an American author of more than 40 titles, the majority of which were sweeping sagas, covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating historical facts into the stories...

, who served in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 during World War II, set one of the chapters of his episodic novel Tales of the South Pacific
Tales of the South Pacific
Tales of the South Pacific is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, which is a collection of sequentially related short stories about World War II, written by James A. Michener in 1946 and published in 1947...

on Norfolk Island.

Crime

Though usually peaceful, Norfolk Island has been the site of two murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

s in the 21st century. In 2002, Janelle Patton
Janelle Patton
Janelle Patton was a 29-year-old Sydney woman who was brutally murdered on Norfolk Island on 31 March 2002. The case made national headlines in Australia and New Zealand, as she was the first person to be murdered there since 1893.-Background:...

, an Australian living on the island, was murdered. It was the first murder on the island since 1893. Two years later the Deputy Chief Minister of the island, Ivens Buffett
Ivens Buffett
Ivens François "Toon" Buffett was a political figure from the Australian External Territory of Norfolk Island.-Political offices:He was the Lands Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Norfolk Island...

, was found shot dead, becoming the first Australian minister to be murdered in office. Crime incidence is generally low on the island, although recent reports indicate that petty theft and dangerous driving are becoming more prevalent.

The Patton murder prompted considerable debate, with some residents arguing that traditional loyalties would prevent a local being charged. In February 2006, 28-year-old New Zealand chef Glenn McNeill was arrested and charged with Patton's murder. McNeill had been working on Norfolk at the time and claimed at hearings in Australia and on Norfolk Island that he accidentally hit Patton with his car, a statement he later retracted. His trial ended on 9 March 2007, when the 11-person jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

 returned a guilty verdict.

On 25 July 2007, McNeill was sentenced to a maximum 24 years in jail. Norfolk Island's Chief Justice Mark Weinberg, in a sentence handed down in a Sydney courthouse and broadcast live to Norfolk Island's court, said McNeill may be eligible for release after a minimum 18 years in prison. McNeill will serve his sentence in Australia.

Government and Politics

Norfolk Island is the only non-mainland Australian territory
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 to have achieved self-governance. The Norfolk Island Act 1979
Norfolk Island Act 1979
The Norfolk Island Act 1979 was an Act of the Parliament of Australia. It granted the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island limited self-government....

, passed by the Parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

 in 1979, is the Act under which the island is governed. The Australian government
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

 maintains authority on the island through an Administrator (currently Owen Walsh
Owen Walsh
Owen Edward John Walsh is the current Administrator of the Australian territory of Norfolk Island.Walsh was educated at the University of Tasmania, from which he graduated with degrees in Arts and Law...

), who is appointed by the Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

. A Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

 is elected by popular vote for a term of not more than three years, although legislation passed by the Australian Parliament can extend its laws to the territory at will, including the power to override any laws made by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.

The Assembly consists of nine seats, with electors casting nine equal votes, of which no more than four can be given to any individual candidate. It is a method of voting called a "weighted first past the post system". Four of the members of the Assembly form the Executive Council
Executive Council (Commonwealth countries)
An Executive Council in Commonwealth constitutional practice based on the Westminster system is a constitutional organ which exercises executive power and advises the governor or governor-general. Executive Councils often make decisions via Orders in Council.Executive Councillors are informally...

, which devises policy and acts as an advisory body to the Administrator. The current Chief Minister of Norfolk Island is David Buffett
David Buffett
David Ernest Buffett AM is a political figure from the Australian territory of Norfolk Island. He is the current Chief Minister of Norfolk Island since March 2010, a position he has held on three previous occasions...

. Other ministers are Minister for Tourism, Industry and Development, Minister for Finance and Attorney-General and Minister for Community Services.

All seats are held by independent candidates. Norfolk Island has yet to embrace party politics. In 2007 a branch of the Australian Labor Party was formed on Norfolk Island, with the aim of reforming the system of government.

Residents of Norfolk Island are entitled to enroll in a mainland Australian division in a state to which they have a connection, or the Division of Canberra in the ACT, or for the Division of Solomon in the NT. Enrollment for Norfolk Islanders is not compulsory, but once enrolled they must vote.

In a move that apparently surprised many islanders the Chief Minister of Norfolk Island David Buffett announced on 6 November 2010 that the island would voluntarily surrender its self-governing status in return for a financial bailout from the federal government to cover significant debts.

The island's official capital is Kingston
Kingston, Norfolk Island
Kingston is the capital of the Australian South Pacific Territory of Norfolk Island. The vice-regal, legislative, administrative and judicial offices are all located in Kingston...

; it is, however, more a centre of government than a sizeable settlement. The largest settlement is at Burnt Pine
Burnt Pine
Burnt Pine is the largest town on Norfolk Island . It is the main commercial hub of the island, and travel from one side of the island to another generally involves passing through Burnt Pine...

.

The most important local holiday is Bounty Day
Bounty Day
Bounty Day is a holiday on both Pitcairn Island, destination of the HMS Bounty mutineers, and on Norfolk Island. It is celebrated on January 23 on Pitcairn, and on June 8 on Norfolk Island, the day that the descendants of the mutineers arrived on the island...

, celebrated on 8 June, in memory of the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856.

Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system. Australian common law applies when not covered by either Australian or Norfolk Island law. Suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 is universal at age eighteen.

As a territory of Australia, Norfolk Island does not have diplomatic representation abroad, or within the territory, and is also not a participant in any international organisations, other than sporting organisations.

The flag
Flag of Norfolk Island
The flag of Norfolk Island was adopted on 17 January 1980. It depicts the Norfolk Island Pine in a central white stipe....

 is three vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and green with a large green Norfolk Island pine tree centered in the slightly wider white band.

Constitutional status

The exact status of Norfolk Island is controversial. Despite the island's status as a self-governing territory of Australia administered by the Attorney-General's Department
Attorney-General's Department (Australia)
The Attorney-General's Department is an Australian Government Department. Its role is to serve the people of Australia by providing essential expert support to the Government in the maintenance and improvement of Australia's system of law and justice...

, some islanders claim that it was actually granted independence at the time Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 granted permission to Pitcairn Islanders to re-settle on the island. These views have been repeatedly rejected by the Australian parliament's Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, most recently in 2004, and were also rejected by the High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

 in Berwick Limited v R R Gray Deputy Commissioner of Taxation.

Disagreements over the island's relationship with Australia were put in sharper relief by a 2006 review undertaken by the Australian government. Under the more radical of two models proposed in the review, the island's legislative assembly would have been reduced to the status of a local council
Local government in Australia
Local government in Australia is the third tier of government, administered by the states and territories which in turn are beneath the Commonwealth or federal tier. Unlike New Zealand, the US or the UK, there is only one level of local government in all states, with no distinction such as...

. However, in December 2006, citing the "significant disruption" that changes to the governance would impose on the island's economy, the Australian government ended the review leaving the existing governance arrangements unaltered.

Immigration and citizenship

The island is subject to separate immigration controls from the remainder of the nation.

Australian citizens and residents from other parts of the nation do not have automatic right of residence on the island. Australian citizens must carry either a passport
Passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

 or a Document of Identity
Document of Identity (Australia)
A Document of Identity is a form of identification issued to Australian citizens by the Federal Government of Australia. The primary purpose of the Document of Identity is to allow an Australian citizen to travel to Norfolk Island without the need for a passport...

 to travel to Norfolk Island. Citizens of all other nations must carry a passport to travel to Norfolk Island even if arriving from other parts of Australia. Holders of Australian visas who travel to Norfolk Island have departed the Australian Migration Zone
Australian migration zone
The Australian migration zone refers to the parts of Australian territory where a non citizen must hold a visa to legally enter and remain. It includes all states and mainland territories, plus some external territories, at the mean low water mark....

. Unless they hold a multiple-entry visa, the visa will have ceased; in which case they will require another visa to re-enter mainland Australia.

Residency on Norfolk Island requires sponsorship by an existing resident of Norfolk Island or a business operating on the island. Temporary residency may also be granted to skilled workers necessary for the island's services (for example, medical, government and teaching staff).

Non-Australian citizens who are permanent residents of Norfolk Island may apply for Australian citizenship after meeting normal residence requirements and are eligible to take up residence in mainland Australia at any time through the use of a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa
Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa
A Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa is a type of Australian immigration visa granted on arrival in Australia to a non-citizen who is a permanent resident of Norfolk Island....

. Children born on Norfolk Island are Australian citizens as specified by Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

.

Non-Australian citizens who are Australian permanent resident
Australian permanent resident
Australian permanent residents are residents of Australia who hold permanent residency visas but are not citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia....

s should be aware that during their stay on Norfolk Island they are "outside of Australia" for the purposes of the Migration Act. This means that not only will they need a still-valid migrant visa or Resident return visa to return from Norfolk Island to the mainland, but also the time spent in Norfolk Island will not be counted for satisfying the residence requirement for obtaining a Resident return visa in the future. On the other hand, as far as Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

 is concerned, Norfolk Island is a part of Australia, and any time spent by an Australian permanent resident on Norfolk Island apparently would count as time spent in Australia for the purposes of applying for Australian citizenship.

Medicare

Medicare
Medicare (Australia)
Medicare is Australia's publicly funded universal health care system, operated by the government authority Medicare Australia. Medicare is intended to provide affordable treatment by doctors and in public hospitals for all resident citizens and permanent residents except for those on Norfolk Island...

 does not cover Norfolk Island. All visitors to Norfolk Island, including Australians, are recommended to purchase travel insurance. Serious medical conditions are not treated on the island; rather, the patient is flown back to mainland Australia. Air charter transport can cost in the order of A$25,000. This lack of medical facilities has a major impact on the health care of Norfolk Islanders. Many older residents find it impossible to remain on the island when their health falters, many have to leave their homes and live in New Zealand or Australia to get medical care.

Defence and law enforcement

Defence is the responsibility of the Australian Defence Force
Australian Defence Force
The Australian Defence Force is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and a number of 'tri-service' units...

. There are no active military installations or defence personnel on Norfolk Island. The Administrator may request the assistance of the Australian Defence Force if required.

Civilian law enforcement and community policing is provided by the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

. The normal deployment to the island is one sergeant and two constables. These are augmented by five local Special Members who have police powers but are not AFP employees.

Economy and infrastructure

Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, the primary economic activity, has steadily increased over the years. As Norfolk Island prohibits the importation of fresh fruit and vegetables, most produce is grown locally. Beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 is both produced locally and imported.

The Australian government controls the exclusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) around Norfolk Island and territorial sea claims to three nautical miles (6 km) from the island. The exclusive economic zone provides the islanders with fish, its only major natural resource. Norfolk Island has no direct control over any marine areas but has an agreement with the Commonwealth through the Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Australian Fisheries Management Authority
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority is the Australian Government statutory agency responsible for the management and sustainable use of fisheries resources and for combating illegal fishing activities in Australian waters .-History:The Australian Fisheries Management Authority was...

 (AFMA) to fish "recreationally" in a small section of the EEZ known locally as "the Box". While there is speculation that the zone may include oil and gas deposits this is not proven. There are no major arable lands or permanent farmlands, though about 25 per cent of the island is a permanent pasture. There is no irrigated land. The island uses the Australian dollar
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

 as its currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

.

Taxes

Residents of Norfolk Island do not pay Australian federal taxes, creating a tax haven
Tax haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate....

 for locals and visitors alike. Because there is no income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

, the island's legislative assembly raises money through an import duty, fuel levy, medicare levy, GST and local/international phone calls.

Communications

As of 2004, 2532 telephone main lines are in use, a mix of analog (2500) and digital (32) circuits. Satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 service is planned. There is one TV station featuring local programming Norfolk TV
Norfolk TV
Norfolk TV is a television channel on Norfolk Island broadcasting information and news about the island, children's shows in the morning and some sitcoms in the afternoon. It is the only terrestrial television channel native on Norfolk Island, the Island is also served by satellite television from...

, plus transmitters for ABC TV
ABC1
ABC1 was a United Kingdom based television channel from Disney using the branding of the Disney owned American network, ABC.The channel initially launched exclusively on the British digital terrestrial television platform Freeview on 27 September 2004. On 10 December 2004 it was launched on...

, SBS TV, Imparja Television
Imparja Television
Imparja Television is an Australian television network servicing remote eastern and central Australia, that began broadcasting on 2 January 1988. It is based in Alice Springs, where it has a studio and satellite uplink facility. Notably, it is controlled by Australian Aborigines through ownership...

 and Southern Cross Television
Southern Cross Television
Southern Cross Television, or Southern Cross, is an Australian television network available in Tasmania, Darwin, Regional South Australia, and Central Australia. Although the programming varies from region to region, all areas are affiliated with the Seven Network and, in some areas, have a dual...

. The Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 country code
Country code
Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this. The best known of these is ISO 3166-1...

 top-level domain
Top-level domain
A top-level domain is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. The top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the name space. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the last label of a...

 (ccTLD) is .nf
.nf
.nf is the Internet country code top-level domain for Norfolk Island. While there is no rule requiring a local presence to register domains in this TLD, the pricing is significantly higher than most other domains, which has discouraged its use...

.

Transport

There are no railways, waterways, ports or harbours on the island. Loading jetties are located at Kingston and Cascade, but ships cannot get close to either of them. When a supply ship arrives, it is emptied by whaleboats towed by launches, five tonnes at a time. Which jetty is used depends on the prevailing weather on the day. The jetty on the leeward side of the island is often used. If the wind changes significantly during unloading/loading, the ship will move around to the other side. Visitors often gather to watch the activity when a supply ship arrives.

There is one airport, Norfolk Island Airport
Norfolk Island Airport
Norfolk Island Airport is the only airport on Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia...

. There are 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) of roads on the island, "little more than country lanes", but local law gives cows the right of way.

On 20 November 2009, a Pel-Air
Pel-Air
Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd is an airline based in Mascot, Sydney, Australia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Regional Express Holdings, which also owns Australian airlines Regional Express Airlines and Air Link....

 IAI Westwind II
IAI Westwind
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Frawley, Gerald. "IAI Westwind". The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 1997/98. Fyshwick ACT: Aerospace Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-875671-26-9....

 aircraft ditched near Norfolk Island after being unable to land in bad weather and not having sufficient fuel to divert to another destination. All six passengers and crew were rescued from the sea.

See also



Further reading

  • Hoare, Merval. Norfolk Island, an outline of its history 1774-1987. 4th edition. St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1988. ISBN 0702221007

External links

Government
General information
Travel
Archaeology and Polynesian settlement in prehistory
Other
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