NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY

On this page you will be able to read all press release from the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD).

NIPD Visits Canberra – Could this be the turning point?


During the week 28 November – 2 December, Lisle Snell (NIPD), Chris Magri (NIPD) and Tim Vollmer (Mountain Media) visited Parliament House in Canberra and met with more than 30 MPs and advisors from across the political spectrum. The purpose of the visit was threefold:

  1. To progress the rights of the Norfolk Island People for an Act of Self-Determination,
  1. To explain the practical ‘on the ground’ problems the Norfolk Island people face as a     direct result of Canberra’s newly imposed ‘remote control’ administration of the Island; and,
  1. To find common ground for a more democratic way forward. 

Lisle, Tim and I came out of last weeks’ meetings with a great deal of optimism for the future. The following is an overview of the key observations and outcomes of our meetings.

From the Commonwealth Government’s perspective

Whilst many of the MP’s we talked to offered their unlimited support for our right to self-determination, others explained that the Commonwealth Government has no desire to return to the pre-existing governance arrangements – or in their words – “we are not going back”.


From NIPD’s  perspective

We explained that whilst our appeal to the United Nations and the right of the Norfolk Island people to ultimately decide their future by majority referendum was not negotiable to NIPD; we are a “forward looking” Association dedicated to advancing the democratic interests of all Norfolk Island people; and as such were interested in exploring any opportunity to find matters of mutual concern.


Common ground

Common ground was found in an almost universal denunciation of the undemocratic application of state type laws to Norfolk Island. Many of the people we met expressed a genuine willingness to assist in exploring democratic alternatives to the current arrangements. This included the Hon. Warren Snowden MP (arguably Australia’s most experienced federal politician when it comes to the territories) who explained that this was a deficiency in the governance arrangements for the IOT’s that he had been looking to resolve for some time. Mr Snowden said that whilst he would not support a return to the pre-existing arrangements on Norfolk Island he had been weighing up the benefits of developing a regional representative authority, or similar, to resolve the democratic deficit issue.


Key facts that surfaced during the week

           From the outset it became abundantly clear that the key decisions regarding Norfolk Island’s future were not made with majority bi-partisan support; but rather were supported by Cabinet on the advice of only one or two MPs from both of the major political parties. The overwhelming majority of the MPs knew very little about Norfolk Island and, after learning of what has happened, expressed genuine surprise and distress at the situation. We encouraged them to not just rely on our word but to visit Norfolk Island to see what is happening first hand.

           Very few of the people we met with were aware of the issues relating to Australia’s obligations to Norfolk Island under the Charter of the United Nations.

           No-one was able to provide us with a rational explanation which supported the abolition of our Parliament. One MP mused at the irony of using financial sustainability as a measure for having a Parliament, and said if it were - all of Australia’s Parliament Houses would probably be hotels.

           Most MPs agreed that the imminent departure of the Island’s Administrator should help to ease tensions between the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island.


Looking forward

NIPD will continue to pursue its primary objective of having Norfolk Island inscribed on to the United Nations List of non-self-governing Territories and working towards re-building Norfolk Island’s governance and sustainability as a self-governing territory in free association with Australia.


Whilst at this time, Australia’s official government policy toward Norfolk Island has not changed, it is clear that with the support of Senator Hanson and the appointment of a new and enlightened Federal Minister, Senator Fiona Nash, there appears to be for the first time in many years, a genuine willingness to discuss a more democratic way forward.


NIPD has been invited to meet with Minister Nash on Monday the 12th of December 2016, where we will discuss a range of matters central to the goals and objectives of our association. More specifically we will be requesting that the Minister, in consultation with NIPD, supports the formation of a genuinely representative commission of inquiry to:

  1. Identify the financial and democratic deficiencies in the current governance model;
  1. Identify the legal limitations that need to be taken into account when considering recommendations aimed at resolving the financial and democratic deficiencies in the current governance model (e.g. How the extension of Commonwealth GST or Customs Duty Legislation is complicated by Norfolk Island’s status as a non-self-governing external territory under the authority of Australia); and,
  1. Make recommendations to Minister Nash outlining the ways in which the financial and democratic deficiencies in the current governance model can be reduced or eliminated.

Lisle and I would like to extend our gratitude, admiration and thanks to Senator Pauline Hanson and her team, and Tim Vollmer and Phil Duncan from Mountain Media, for helping to make our recent visit to Canberra another valuable and constructive step towards securing a more democratic future for Norfolk Island.

Chris Magri

President

Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD)

8 December 2016

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The Territory of Norfolk Island



On 4 November 2016 the Administrator, the Hon. Gary Hardgrave, gave us his views in a press release titled, ‘The Australian Territory of Norfolk Island’ on the ‘status of Norfolk Island and its relationship with Britain’The following claims by the Administrator require correction/clarification:


THE ADMINISTRATOR REFERS TO: - “The Australian Territory of Norfolk Island”; and states “Norfolk Island has been part of Australia since 1914”.


CORRECTION: “...the Commonwealth Parliament’s relationship to Norfolk Island is not that of a sovereign exercising power over part of its own territory, but that of a sovereign exercising power over territory committed to its government but not as part of its territory” Mr. R.J. Ellicott QC and Mr McLelland QC 1975


THE ADMINISTRATOR STATES: “…the anti-Australia few are entitled to their opinion but they are not entitled to their own facts”.


CORRECTION: A special and important role of the Administrator is to engage with the community and emphasise issues that promote community cohesion and progression. It is certainly not to make continuing offensive and false allegations that the Norfolk Island people are anti-Australia. 


THE ADMINISTRATOR STATES: “…the Norfolk Island Act 1913 effected the transfer of the full control and legislative authority for the government of Norfolk Island to the Commonwealth of Australia”


CLARIFICATION: The Order in Council of 1856 is obviously critical. It is by that Order in Council that the concept of “distinct and separate settlement” became legally recognised.” “…Imperial Orders in Council adopted after 1914 continued to distinguish between the Commonwealth of Australia and Norfolk Island”. Dr Christopher Ward SC Professor Vaughan Lowe QC 2015


AND FURTHERMORE “…But Norfolk Island is not an internal territory and thus it is not an integral part of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Parliament has consistently treated Norfolk Island as an external territory of Australia, and this conforms with its position as a ‘distinct and separate’ territory...” Professor James Crawford SC

AND

“Norfolk Island is a Non-Self-Governing Territory within the meaning of Article 73 of the United Nations Charter”. Dr Christopher Ward SC Professor Vaughan Lowe QC 2015

 “Norfolk Island is a territory whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government, for the administration of which Australia has responsibility. Accordingly, in my view Australia is obliged to carry out the provisions of Article 73 with respect to Norfolk Island.” Mr. McLelland QC

 

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Going from Strength to Strength


It has been extremely encouraging in recent weeks to see our story getting out there, on Norfolk Island, in Australia, and out in the wider world. The visit of the British Delegation, Conservative MPs Daniel Kawczynski and Andrew Rosindell along with Labour MP Paula Sherriff, continues to bear fruit, and the three MPs have now issued a signed statement in which they state that they were “deeply disturbed by what we found” and “the current situation is untenable and cannot go on. It is damaging the lives of the people of Norfolk Island as well as the reputation of Australia. ” We eagerly wait to see what Australia’s response will be.

Meanwhile, the visit of Senator Pauline Hanson for three days last week was a great encouragement to us. The Senator spent the whole of her time here meeting with a large number of groups and individuals, and really got alongside of the locals, listening to their concerns and seeing first hand our special way of life. On her return, Senator Hanson posted a film about her visit on her Facebook page, which has so far been viewed by over 80 000 people. We are delighted that we now have access to such a large audience to tell our story. This is especially important in the light of the fact that we, and other key stakeholder groups, were unable to secure meetings with Ms Gai Brodtman MP or Senator Nash during their brief visits.

Here on the home front, we have the opportunity to talk to many of our visitors who call in to the Tent Embassy or the Centre for Democracy to ask questions, and offer support and encouragement to us. Huge numbers of badges, Norfolk flags, and green hands regularly travel home with our tourists, many of whom say they are determined to talk to their friends and their local MPs about what has happened here.

We continue to work with the Council of Elders, sharing initiatives and activities, because we all want the same outcomes for the people of this island. We are well aware that the Council is sometimes able to open some doors that are not available to us, and are very grateful for their commitment. The Tent Embassy and the Hands Up group are also contributing to our fight in a significant way, and we all get together for occasions like a Potluck, or a Fundraiser, the good Norfolk spirit really comes to the forefront.

The words of encouragement and gestures of support we are continually receiving from the people of this island really keep us motivated. There is still a great deal for us to do. In the near future, we will be seeking your help in more tangible ways. We have a task of contacting many individuals, organisations and UN member countries to assist in progressing out petition. If you feel you can help with some “googling”, research, emailing and letter-writing, and generally helping our Management team in their enormous task we would love to hear from you.

We are well aware that many on this island are really hurting at the moment, and face the year ahead with trepidation as the imposts and bureaucratic demands of a new regime impact their lives and those of their families. We only wish we could play a greater advocacy role, but the way

things are, that is not easy. However, we do still urge you to contact us and tell us how you are being affected by the changes on our island.

Whatever you can share with us will assist in helping us plan a better and brighter future for Norfolk Island when our democracy and rights are returned to us.

“Abolishing Norfolk Island as an autonomous territory may not seem to matter much in the grand scheme of things, but for an international order that cherishes self-government and proclaims the right of self-determination of people it is a regressive and unimaginative action, an example of the inability to tolerate democracy and difference.”

– Geoffrey Robertson QC

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Prime Minister urged to immediately sack Norfolk Island Administrator



Senator Pauline Hanson has today written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging the immediate dismissal of Australia’s vice-regal representative to Norfolk Island following serious allegations that he has mislead the Australian Parliament, successive Government Ministers, and the Australian people.

Senator Hanson also requested the immediate dispatching of independent experts to investigate allegations of waste, mismanagaement and preferential treatment involving the office of Norfolk Island Administrator Gary Hardgrave.

In addition to immediately recalling Mr Hardgrave from Norfolk Island, Senator Hanson urged the Prime Minister to conduct a genuine consultation process with the Norfolk Island community to ensure a replacement Administrator was capable of rebuilding trust on the island.
 
“Mr Hardgrave has failed to uphold the obligations of his high office and should be immediately replaced,” Senator Hanson said.

“Based on the allegations that have been made, there appears to be a strong case for the immediate dismissal of Mr Hardgrave as Administrator.”

Senator Hanson outlined a series of allegation against Mr Hardgrave, including that he: 

• had overseen preferential treatment for friends and associates, the awarding contracts without a tender process, and the awarding of employment to individuals who were less qualified than alternate candidates; 
• was responsible for overseeing the potential waste of millions of Australian taxpayer dollars due to a lack of appropriate oversight and accountability; 
• had lied to a parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom, falsely accusing the local community of burning down homes bought by the Australian Government; 
• mislead the Australian Parliament and successive Government Ministers with false claims that genuine consultation with the people of Norfolk Island occurred prior to the abolition of self-governance; 
• mislead the Australian Parliament by falsely claiming the majority of Norfolk Island residents supported these changes, despite a referendum in 2015 recording almost 70 per cent opposition to an Australian takeover; 
• prevented local representative organisations, including the Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce, the Norfolk Island Accommodation and Tourism Association, and the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, from meeting with Territories Minister Fiona Nash during her recent visit; 
• brought disrepute to the office of Administrator with ill-tempered outbursts at public meetings, disrespectful statements in the local media, and extremely offensive statements in private, including a statement that he would like to see a number of Norfolk Islanders buried under a bridge; and 
• used his powers as Administrator to censor political discussion, with local people banned from accesssing the community radio station and a public servant being forced to accept a pay cut due to criticisms written on social media.

“Since my arrival on Norfolk Island, I have been given extensive evidence of serious misconduct involving the Australian Government’s vice-regal representative on the island,” Senator Hanson said.

“These actions amount to clear breaches of the responsibilities and appropriate behaviours of this important public office.

“The Prime Minister has an obligation to immediately act to resolve this situation.

“I have today urged him to not only immediately recall Mr Hardgrave, but to dispatch independent experts to Norfolk Island to investigate the serious allegations of waste, mismanagement, and preferential treatment that have been reported to me.”

Attached is a copy of Senator Hanson’s letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

-- END -- 
Media contact: Sean Bell Sean.Bell@aph.gov.au Mobile 0418 147 366

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Letter to the Prime Minister by Senator Pauline Hanson




Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP 
Prime Minister of Australia 
PO Box 6022 
House of Representatives 
Parliament House 
Canberra ACT 2600

By email: Malcolm.Turnbull.MP@aph.gov.au

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Dear Prime Minister,

I write seeking your urgent, decisive action to resolve a matter of utmost seriousness. Following my arrival on Norfolk Island this week, I have been furnished with evidence of serious misconduct involving the Australian Government’s vice-regal representative on the island, Norfolk Island Administrator Gary Hardgrave. Based on the allegations that have been made, there appears to be a strong case for the immediate dismissal of Mr Hardgrave as Administrator.

A request has been made for the Administrator to meet with me during my visit this week, however I have been informed that neither he, nor an alternate representative, are available. I will be on Norfolk Island until Friday and would ask for your assistance with facilitating a meeting with the Administrator to discuss the issues outlined below, as well as the broader situation on Norfolk Island.

My examinations thus far have uncovered actions that amount to clear breaches of the responsibilities and appropriate behaviours incumbent on this important public office. In some cases these extend to deliberately misleading the Australian Parliament, successive Government Ministers, and the Australian people.
Mr Hardgrave appears to have mislead the Australian Parliament and successive Government Ministers through his repeated claims that genuine democratic consultation with the people of Norfolk Island occurred prior to the abolition of self-governance, and that the majority of Norfolk Island residents support these changes. These statements do not stand up to examination. A referendum held on the island last year found almost 70 per cent of residents were opposed to the Commonwealth takeover. The community organisation coordinating the campaign for the return of self-governance, the Norfolk Island People for Democracy, counts more than two thirds of voters on the electoral roll as registered members. My independent discussions with other local residents have also revealed an overwhelming opposition to the governance system that has been imposed on the island.

Mr Hardgrave has also reportedly acted to prevent Australian Ministers and other representatives from hearing the concerns of the Norfolk Island community. For instance, during the most recent visit by Minister for Territories Fiona Nash, the Administrator refused to allow a number of local representative organisations to meet with her, including the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, the Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Norfolk Island Accommodation and Tourism Association. This is completely unacceptable behaviour that must be urgently addressed.

Residents report that Mr Hardgrave has been a divisive, counterproductive figure on Norfolk Island since his appointment in 2014. He is accused of bringing disrepute to the office of Administrator. These allegations include ill-tempered outbursts at public meetings, disrespectful statements in the local media, and extremely offensive statements in private. One example, which has been documented in statutory declarations by a number of witnesses, involved Mr Hardgrave telling a private function that there were a number of Norfolk Islanders that he would like to see buried under a bridge that was under construction. These actions are completely unbecoming of the high office to which he has been appointed and confirm the inappropriateness of him retaining this role.

Mr Hardgrave is also accused of using his powers as Administrator to censor political discussion. He is alleged to have personally coordinated the takeover of Norfolk Island’s community radio station, which resulted in many locals being removed from their programs, and other residents being banned from being interviewed on the station. Likewise, a local public servant who was critical of the Administrator on social media was forced to accept a pay cut as punishment, and was later terminated from her employment. This deliberate muzzling of free speech is an attack on a fundamental tenant of a healthy democracy and runs completely counter to the freedom of political speech enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

In addition, allegations have been made of preferential treatment for friends and associates of Mr Hardgrave. These include the awarding of large contracts without a tender process, as well as his personal intervention to have employment awarded to candidates who were found to be unqualified, or underqualified, for particular roles when more suitable candidates had also applied. These allegations involve the potential waste of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayer dollars, without appropriate oversight or accountability.

A further shocking allegation comes from members of a recent parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom. They have accused Mr Hardgrave of deliberately misleading them in several interactions. In the most flagrant example, they report that the Administrator informed them that local residents had burnt down half a dozen homes bought by the Australian Government to house workers involved in the recent takeover of Norfolk Island governance. Emergency Management Norfolk Island subsequently provided a report of all fire incidents on Norfolk Island. This report confirmed that no house fire of any kind has occurred since 2012. Mr Hardgrave is accused of deliberately alleging a serious act of criminality in an attempt to undermine the reputation of the people of Norfolk Island, despite knowing it to be completely false.

I share the concerns of the people of Norfolk Island that Mr Hardgrave has failed to uphold the obligations of his high office and should be immediately replaced.
As Prime Minister, you have an obligation to immediately act to resolve this situation. I would ask that you immediately recall Mr Hardgrave, and replace him with a figure — in consultation with the Norfolk Island community — who is capable of rebuilding damaged relationships with Australia. Additionally, I would seek the immediate dispatching of independent experts to Norfolk Island to investigate the allegations of waste, mismanagement, and preferential treatment.
I await your urgent response.

Ms Pauline Hanson 
Senator for Queensland

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Norfolk Island will be hosting visiting MP's from UK


This week Norfolk Island will be welcoming and hosting visiting MP’s and support staff from the Parliament of United Kingdom. Through this publication we welcome:

Andrew Rosindell MP

Ms Paula Sherriff MP

Mr Daniel Kawczynski MP

Mr Lloyd Mattingley PA

Mr Billy Taylor  PR

Since November last year there has been steady dialogue between Norfolk Island and members of the British Parliament. Following a presentation at Westminster last year, Andrew Rosindell MP published information in the Norfolk Islander providing his feedback and support. An invitation to visit Norfolk Island was sent toward the end of 2015 and during June this year a report was provided to MP’s in Westminster and the invitation to visit the island was discussed in detail culminating in an agreed timing and commitment to a neutral evaluation of the islands situation.

Upon our return from London, we identified that Norfolk Island has many friends who are keen to listen and act, this week’s visitation and engagement with community is testament to that fact.

Member of Westminster Parliamentary visit timetable

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

AM

0900

NI People for Democracy

0900

Australian Gov   representatives

0900

CoE & NIPD

1100

Rep group

Presentations

Rep Group

PM

2:00

Air NZ arrival

Land owners -Primary production

Rep meetings

2:25

Depart Air NZ

Check-In. Famil tour

Rep meeting

Industry Reps

4:30

Council of Elders

Rep meeting

Key Org Groups

5:30

Community Welcome Dinner

Cultural discussion

5:30

Community Meeting Rawson Hall

The program above is summarised to give some insight into the meetings and groups.

As a community we would ask that as many people as possible attend the meeting at Rawson Hall on Thursday at 5:30pm. There will be an introduction and presentations from the Council of Elders, an opportunity for presentation from the UK MP’s and visitors, as well as an opportunity to engage in community dialogue regarding the progression and process imposed on the island to date.

Yours Sincerely

Albert Buffett

Andre Nobbs

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ART EXHIBIT


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THE UNITED NATIONS AND DECOLONIZATION



‘Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism’ (2010 TO 2020)
 
On the 26th of June, 2016 all member states of the United Nations will celebrate the 71st anniversary of their commitment in law to end the global scourge of colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. Australia is a member state of the United Nations. 

It is hard to imagine that during the United Nations (UN) ‘Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism’ that Australia, a member state that prides itself on being a good global citizen, took the following action in May 2015 against the expressed wishes of the majority of the Norfolk Island people:

Unilaterally and unlawfully abolished the Norfolk Island Parliament and removed self-government; 
Amended the definition of ‘Australia’ to include Norfolk Island;
Removed all references to the Norfolk Island people who include descendants of the settlers from Pitcairn Island ever having existed as a people in law. 
Assumed control of Norfolk Island; 
Appropriated the Norfolk Island public account; and 
Announced its intention to complete the effective ‘annexation’ of Norfolk Island on 1 July 2016.

“Norfolk Island became a non self-governing territory on 18 June 2015 on commencement of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015”. (Ref The Australian Federal Register of Legislation website)

This is an unprecedented and regrettable return to the darkest days of colonialism.

The following summarises the steps taken/being taken by Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) to remedy this injustice

On 25 April 2016 a detailed Petition recommending to the UN General Assembly that Norfolk Island be inscribed as a non-self-governing territory under Article 73e was lodged with the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency Mr Mogens Lykketoft in New York.
http://www.norfolkschoice.com/thepetition.pdf 

On 6 May 2016 eminent international lawyers Dr Christopher Ward SC and Professor Vaughan Lowe QC provided Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) with a Joint Opinion “In the Matter of the Status of Norfolk Island as a non-self-governing territory”. The joint opinion says that Norfolk Island is a non-self-governing territory within the meaning of the UN Charter and proposes two avenues that can be followed for Norfolk Island to be inscribed on the UN List of Non-Self-Governing Territories. http://www.norfolkschoice.com/loweandwardopinion.pdf 

On 13 May 2016 NIPD delivered to the Commonwealth Attorney-General and Shadow Attorney-General evidence of Australia’s legal obligations regarding Norfolk Island and evidence that their current actions are inconsistent with International Law; and requested the deferral of the implementation of the measures due to take effect on 1 July until such time as the UN Special Committee on Decolonization has considered the Petition. The Attorney-General has referred the correspondence to Minister Paul Fletcher MP from whom a response is yet to be received.

During May 2016 NIPD actively lobbied the NSW Legislative Council to refer the Norfolk Island Administration Bill 2016 to a Committee of Inquiry to allow the Norfolk Island People the opportunity to appropriately brief legislators on the impacts of the Bill.  There were extensive speeches by Labor (led by shadow Attorney General Adam Searle) and the Greens (primarily David Shoebridge) talking about the issues, both for the people of Norfolk Island and NSW taxpayers. Both advocated for a parliamentary committee examining the Bill, in particular so that the people of Norfolk Island could actually be consulted about the changes. The motion for referral of the Bill to committee for examination was proposed by Labor but was voted down by the government with the support of the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers. When the Bill was finally put to a vote Labor and the Greens stuck to their commitment and voted against it; the Christian Democrats voted with the government (Liberals and Nationals) to support it and the Shooters and Fishers Party appears to have abstained, with neither MP turning up to the vote. Thanks to the efforts of the ALP and the Greens Norfolk got a good hearing and the courtesy of a decent debate in the Legislative Council.  Links in 2 parts to Hansard of debate are –

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1820781676-69341 
https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1820781676-69362

On 6 June 2016 NIPD wrote to Members of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation (the C.24) requesting their assistance in achieving recognition by the United Nations that Norfolk Island is a ‘non-self-governing territory within the meaning of Article 73 of the United Nations Charter; and requesting their support for a visit of a mission of members of the C24 to Norfolk Island to investigate the situation on Norfolk Island.  The C.24 is meeting in New York this week.

Today 17 June 2016 NIPD has written an open letter to the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, bringing to his attention that Australia is in breach of its international obligations under the United Nations Charter and requesting:

1. That Australia takes immediate steps to have Norfolk Island inscribed on the United Nations List of Non-Self-Governing Territories; and
2. That implementation of the measures due to take effect on 1 July 2016 be deferred until such time as the UN Special Committee on Decolonization has considered the Petition.

Lodgement of complaints for violation of human rights

NIPD’s legal team are currently preparing a series of complaints for lodgement with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva detailing violation of human rights of the Norfolk Island people as a result of Australia’s actions.

 “Abolishing Norfolk Island as an autonomous territory may not seem to matter much in the grand scheme of things, but for an international order that cherishes self-government and proclaims the right of self-determination of people it is a regressive and unimaginative action, an example of the inability to tolerate democracy and difference.”
– Geoffrey Robertson QC

With the increasing support and efforts of a number of individuals the processes that were commenced by NIPD in May last year are moving ever closer to our objective of allowing the Norfolk Island people the choice for their future. Thank you for your help in fundraising, getting the message out, and for your support and belief in Norfolk and its people.

Management Committee
Norfolk Island People for Democracy
17 June 2016
pdsupport@ninet.nf

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“IN THE MATTER OF THE STATUS OF NORFOLK ISLAND AS A NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORY”



 
“IN THE MATTER OF THE STATUS OF
NORFOLK ISLAND AS A NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORY”

NIPD was very pleased this week to receive a Joint Opinion dated 6 May 2016 from Dr Christopher Ward SC (St. James Hall Chambers, Sydney) and Professor Vaughan Lowe QC (Essex Court Chambers, London) on “The Matter of the Status of Norfolk Island as a Non-Self-Governing Territory”. Dr Ward and Professor Lowe were asked to advise on a number of questions, including –

“Is Norfolk Island a Non-Self-Governing territory within the meaning of Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations?”

Dr Chris Ward SC is a recognised expert in the field of international law (public and private) and is a Senior Counsel for the State of New South Wales (2015) – http://www.sixstjameshall.com.au/christopherward/

Professor Vaughan Lowe QC is Emeritus Chichele Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University and a Fellow of All Souls College – https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/people/vaughan-lowe-qc

A copy of the Joint Opinion and a copy of the Petition lodged with the United Nations on 25 April 2016 by Geoffrey Robertson QC, Albert Buffett and Ken Christian can be accessed on the NIPD website respectively at www.norfolkschoice.com/loweandwardopinion.pdf and www.norfolkschoice.com/thepetition.pdf.

NIPD today was provided with a copy of the following heartfelt email titled “Your Country” from a supporter of Norfolk Island living in Cairns North Queensland.  We thought the email dated 20 April 2016 (which took a bit of time to reach us!) was nevertheless most worthy of sharing!

“Hello! I just watched the documentary about Norfolk Island tonight, and it moved me a lot, I laughed and I cried, and I was in awe, the sense of community and the bond of family, friends and community shone through and I loved that, of course it's your island and its your community, nobody can deny that, you people are the soul and the beating heart of Norfolk Island which transcends Australian government policy and bureaucracy, the words NEVER GIVE UP, ring loud and true. It is so unique and special what has been built by you all and your ancestors, please never let it fade away, I would imagine many other everyday Australians like me would support you in your fight for independence, I am happy to accommodate any Norfolk Islander who has to travel here to Australia to lobby Canberra or needs any assistance I can offer to make sure Norfolk remains independent, good luck (Will in Cairns far North Queensland)”

NIPD has sent a thank you note in reply.

Management Committee
Norfolk Island People for Democracy
12 May 2016

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NORFOLK ISLAND BACKGROUND INFORMATION


Politics:

In 1856, Norfolk Island was gifted to the descendants of the Bounty mutineers by Queen Victoria.

 Norfolk Island has never been an Australian possession, rather, the territory was administered by the

Commonwealth on behalf of the British crown.

 

 Between 1979 and 2015, Norfolk Island was self-governed by an elected Legislative Assembly. This administration, funded by local taxes and levies on the island, provided health, education, customs, quarantine, telecommunications, electricity, roads, rubbish, and other services.

 

 Under self-governance, Norfolk Islanders paid no income tax, land tax, or council rates.

 

 The local administration had balanced budgets for three decades, only requesting financial assistance from the Commonwealth during the Global Financial Crisis, when Norfolk Island was specifically excluded from stimulus funding and financial assistance packages provided to other states and territories.

 

 A referendum in May 2015 found more than two-thirds of Norfolk Islanders oppose the Commonwealth takeover.

Financial situation:

Norfolk Island and its 430,000 square kilometre exclusive economic zone provide a net financial benefit to the Commonwealth.

 

 It is estimated that the exclusive economic zone delivers up to $400 million annually to the Commonwealth, with commercial fishing licences alone reaping more than $60 million a year.

 

 Prior to the loss of self-governance, Norfolk Islanders also paid direct and indirect taxes to Australia in the vicinity of $5.8 million per year, according to ATO and ABS data

 

 The Commonwealth used its veto powers to block activities that would have provided a sustainable boost to the local economy, including an agreement to restart a small scale commercial fishing industry, and allow a Canadian company to grow medicinal marijuana on the island:- . The Commonwealth also prevented the Legislative Assembly from borrowing from banks or pursuing many commercial opportunities.

 

Society:

The island has its own language, which is included on the United Nations’ list of endangered languages, as well as unique customs and culture coming from their mix of European and Tahitian ancestry.

 

 Two national anthems that are sung at official ceremonies: God Save The Queen and the Pitcairn Anthem.

 

 Women were allowed to vote on Norfolk Island from 1856, as they had been on Pitcairn Island.

 

 Norfolk Island women held key positions in the parliament and judiciary before the Commonwealth of Australia was even formed.

 

 Norfolk Island introduced compulsory education for boys and girls before any Australian state or territory.

 

 The Legislative Assembly commenced a process to legalise same-sex marriage in 2014/15, the removal of the islands Parliament has halted this proposal.

 

 Under self-government, Norfolk Island had a negligible unemployment rate and did not require unemployment benefits.

 

 Many Norfolk Islanders often work two or more part-time jobs as part of their work ethic and due to the necessity of providing a diverse range of essential services to a small population.

Service Delivery/Utilities:

 

Pre GFC, Norfolk Island’s own taxes have funded infrastructure and service delivery across all community areas:

 

Hospital

– 23 beds/Pathology/Pharmacy/Physio/Aged Care/Dentist/Maternity Ward/Dialysis Facilities/O&E etc

Education

– Kindergarten to Year 12/NI Purchased an education package from NSW/paying Curriculum and Teachers

Communications and Electricity

– Infrastructure/Reticulation/Nationally accredited training/Broadband/Network

Social Support

- Workers Compensation/Aged Pensions/Hardship Allowance/Healthcare & Medical Evacuation

Tourism & Industry

– Tourist Bureau/Management/Promotion/Famils/Branding and Profile development

 

Contact Info: ak@ni.net.nf M: +6723 50273

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THE WORD IS OUT! #WorldsLittlestFreedomFighters


 

It’s been a big few weeks for those on Norfolk Island as well as supporters from around the world who have been spreading the news of Norfolk Island's fight for democracy. Over the last two weeks there have been several events which have seen our community pull together in all kinds of ways.

 

18th April - Public Meeting at Rawson Hall

A public meeting was held hear from local representative stakeholders to discuss issues being faced by the Norfolk Island People. They included representatives from the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, the Private Sector, Health, Norfolk Island People for Democracy, Media Consultants, the Fishing Association and The Accommodation and Tourism Association.

 

There was a call to those attending to ‘stand up’ for Norfolk Island by making an extra effort to attend a community gathering to be held at the parliamentary precinct in the Old Military Barracks in Kingston, home to the abolished Legislative Assembly.

 

25th April - The Petition Submitted in New York

Mr Albert Buffett, President of the Council of Elders and Mr Ken Christian, the Vice President of the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, together with Dr David Buckley (UN Peace Federation Ambassador) and Mr Geoffrey Robertson QC met in New York to attend to the lodgement of the petition with the United Nations to seek inscription on the UN List of Non Self-Governing Territories.

 

27th April - Gathering at Legislative Assembly

On Wednesday at 3pm a Community Gathering commenced within the grounds of the former Legislative Assembly building which brought together many from the Norfolk Island community. Over 300 people met within the walls of the former parliament to show the world that the people of Norfolk Island are standing up for their right to Self-Determination and for their home.

 

There were many speakers from the community including Chris Magri as President of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy who confirmed that the petition had been lodged at the United Nations only hours before. There was also a call to action from Sam Ford, a young member of the community asking for an opportunity to hear the facts about Norfolk's current situation in a search for information to be made more available to the younger generation, who as he pointed out - will be around for a long time. There was a great sense of relief in the community’s practical show of togetherness and solidarity which expressed the common desire for a safe, prosperous and democratic future for Norfolk Island.

 

28th April - 227th Anniversary of the Mutiny on the Bounty

A celebration was held in the form of a community potluck at the local Golf Club in Kingston to commemorate the 227th Anniversary of the Mutiny on the Bounty. This was an opportunity for many members of the community to gather in the island spirit to celebrate what had been a big moment in the island's history.

 

2nd May - Welcoming home Albert and Ken - 25K Crowdfunding!

Albert Buffet and Ken Christian were welcomed home with open arms after their trip to New York to submit the Petition to the United Nations:

 

"Our delegation met with a number of United Nations representatives over a wide range of discussions including topics on governance, the rights of indigenous peoples, economics, and environment. These discussions opened up doors for a wide range of strategies including international networking looking towards the future of Norfolk Island." (Albert Buffett)

 

The night continued on in the grounds of the Legislative Assembly where many came together again to celebrate the island’s achievements thus far.

 

Crowdfunding

This is also a reminder that the crowdfunding campaign has reached over $25,000! We say a big thank you to all those who have been part of the campaign and please remember to share it with your contacts and spread the word! Also, for anybody who has been having trouble with the online facilities, those bugs have been fixed. But if you do have any problems please let us know so we can let Fundrazr know as quickly as possible.

 

The Norfolk Island People for Democracy would like to say a big ‘thank you!’ to all the supporters of Norfolk Island’s fight for democracy who have helped in so many ways, including cooking, setting tables, writing to newspapers, washing dishes, sleeping downtown, continuing to laugh, sharing our story, and the numerous donations of food, time, and much much more.

 

Thaenks fe ucklun

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NEWS FROM NEW YORK



"The general consensus is one of SHOCK from the UN that this is happening and that it is Australia doing it ... Australia are on the short list to be appointed 'head' or join a special UN Human Rights Group ...it is raising questions… “(Dr David Buckley, UN Peace Federation Ambassador)

Management Committee

www.norfolkschoice.com

29 April 2016

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RESPONSE TO MYTH BUSTER


Myth No 1 - Australia is just going to ruin this wonderful place.  

Dear Myth Buster - Of course you are right, Australian islands are pristine natural environments.  

However, to say they are treated with respect is extremely obtuse. For example, if Australian Councils want any chance of being financially sustainable, which most are not, they are required to beg for Federal Assistance and other Grants, like coastal grants, infrastructure grants, expert engagement on threatened species, tourism assistance, forward planning and transparent engagement. In fact, the success of a local council depends largely on whether you are a good beggar or not. 


I can also say definitively that the Commonwealth Government has ruined Christmas and Cocus Islands. Representatives of the Christmas Island and Cocus Island Councils have travelled to Norfolk Island twice to warn us of the impending disaster that is about to befall us and have implored that the NI people to fight with every cell in their being to not allow the Cth to ruin this beautiful place the way they have ruined their islands.  They insisted that their governance arrangements are grossly undemocratic; totally financially unsustainable; and in short a total disaster.

Myth Buster, as this is your ‘first myth’ I am disappointed that you decided to waiver from the mantra of your department in Canberra. Please, if you want to keep your job, remember to stay on message, “Australians living on Norfolk Island will receive the same entitlements and benefits as all other Australians” 

 Myth 2 - Australia is just after our gas and oil reserves 


Dear Myth Buster, this is much better work and I agree with you, this myth is probably ‘Busted’.   


After all, there is no hurry for Australia to look for oil or gas as it is more than satisfied with the revenues it is making from our Fishery.


 Myth Buster, not long ago your Administrator, put out a fact sheet in response to growing calls for information on the revenues Australia makes from the NIEEZ. The official answer - there is no commercial fishing that takes places in the NI inshore Fishery (NIIF).  

Whilst this is partly true the NIIF is only what the Islanders call the ‘box’ and it only makes up a tiny fraction the NIEEZ. The Commonwealth calls the commercial Fishery around Norfolk Island the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) in a deliberate attempt to hide the fact that they make many hundreds of millions of dollars from our Fishery.  


Myth Buster, it may be easier for you to stop trying to defend the un-defendable and focus on easier Myths to bust, like - is it OK for Commonwealth employees to moonlight as a myth buster? 


Myth No. 3 -Australia has been out to get us for years 


Myth Buster, at the outset of the Norfolk Islands previous governance arrangements Norfolk Island enjoyed a fruitful and productive partnership with the Australian Government; enjoyed direct access to Commonwealth ministers; and were able to resolve differences through mutual negotiation. However, post 2006 this relationship was irreparably damaged as a result of the Lloyd intervention into the islands governance. Despite the best efforts of our elected representatives, the Department of Territories orchestrated a determined campaign to ensure the demise of the NIG.  


Whilst this subject is too complex to deal with in this forum if the author of this post decided to take off their rose colored glasses and take an evidence based look at the actions of the Department of Territories over the past ten years it would be impossible for them to come to any other conclusion.  This is why the Norfolk Island People have been demanding an ‘independent observer’ or ‘senate enquiry’ to investigate these matters.  

Myth Buster, please investigate the myth as to why such an enquiry has not been instigated, and who in the Department has the most to lose if the ‘truth’ came out.  

Myth No. 4 - All the dole bludgers will swamp the island 

Dear Myth Buster, let us be clear. If, when you are talking about ‘our’ people then I agree, bludging on the dole is most definitely against our way of life. 

However, if in fact you are talking about ‘your’ people then this myth may be better busted in the Canberra Times.


Myth No. 5 - You will just have high rise and resorts everywhere. 

Dear Myth Buster, it was your Administrator who on TV and in other public forums who spoke of the wonders of cliff top resorts. Alternately, the Norfolk Island People have a wonderful plan which controls development on the Island in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way – perhaps if you were in fact ‘our’ people you may have seen it before. 

Myth No. 6 - The Current 'footpath is a waste of time and purely a political exercise.  


Dear Myth Buster you will remember at the public meeting at Rawson Hall on 28 January that the only reason that GST was not extended to Norfolk Island was, and I quote the Minister ‘because of a mind numbing explanation provided to me by the Attorney General.’   

If Myth Buster had any understanding of the Commonwealth fiscal equalization arrangements that attach to the division of GST revenues in the states in Australia, you would have known that Norfolk Island’s involvement in that scheme would have resulted in a huge financial windfall for Norfolk Island.   

The fact that Australian GST does not extend to Norfolk Island is simply due to our constitutional separation from any of the mainland States and another example of Commonwealth duplicity in their explanations to this community. 

As far as ‘rates being phased in' – I look forward to a public announcement to that effect. Shame on you Myth Buster,  no-one, besides someone working in the NIAC or the Department could know of such a decision – you just spoiled the Ministers next big announcement. 

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BOUNTINEERS SIT-IN FOR JUSTICE


A throng of Norfolk Islanders have occupied the island’s former Parliament grounds on the eve of the 227th Anniversary of the mutiny on the Bounty - the most fabled event in the island’s history.


The islanders, many of them direct descendants of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, are protesting at the Australian government’s unwelcome takeover of their homeland on July 1.


The impromptu sit-in follows a community gathering this afternoon that the Australian government-appointed Administrator Gary Hardgrave tried to ban.

Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited (NIPD) spokesperson Andre Nobbs said islanders were standing up for justice just like their ancestors 227 years ago.

“We have genuine grievances and we’re being ignored by an Australian government that is hell-bent on suppressing our culture and democratic future,” Mr Nobbs said.


“We’re at our wit’s end and our community is suffering great stress and hardship, what can we do? Why won’t the Australian government communicate and collaborate with us?


“Do we bow or stand tall? Keep kneeling or rise? Give up or battle on? We’re being blighed and it’s time to channel Fletcher Christian and the strength of his convictions.”


Mr Nobbs said the group had no idea how long they would remain on the site. “This has all happened spontaneously, but there is a real commitment to the cause. If we don’t act now our way of life could be extinguished forever.”


Earlier today the positive spirit at the Norfolk Island United community gathering - on the grounds now being occupied - was only dampened by the refusal of Mr Hardgrave to address concerns raised by the islanders.


Mr Nobbs and NIPD president Chris Magri delivered a letter to Mr Hardgrave calling for him to resign and leave the island. But while they were granted an hour-long audience, no positive outcomes were reached.


“We’re trying to provide practical solutions to the division and hardship that the Administrator is causing by enforcing draconian colonial rule,” Mr Nobbs said. “But it’s like beating your head against a sandstone wall. He’s impossible to deal with and the sooner he is off the island the happier the good majority of our community will be.”


Bountineer (alternative spelling - Bountaneer)


Justified mutinying by crusaders for justice

“The Bountineers were lauded for liberating their community…”


Hands Up For Norfolk Island…descendants of the mutiny on the Bounty have occupied the island’s former Parliament grounds to protest at the Australia government's unwelcome takeover 


Blighed

bl-eyed

1. to be jollily rogered by a tyrant

2. to suppress the masses to a point where they revolt

“They were so sick of being blighed that they exiled the despot.”


Fletcher

flet-chur

1. to stand up and mutiny against injustice

2. to inspire the oppressed to fight for their inalienable rights

“The community decided to fletcher against continued subjugation.”


ENDS

For further information please contact:

 

Andre Nobbs, tel +6723 50273, email handsupfornorfolk@gmail.com

Hands Up Website = www.handsupfornorfolkisland.realstew.com

Facebook = www.facebook.com/handsupfornorfolk

 

Crowdfunding for democracy = fundrazr.com/HandsUpForNorfolk

Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited (NIPD) Website = www.norfolkschoice.com

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NORFOLK ISLAND FINDS ALLY IN FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY



Norfolk Island has become the first territory in the world to pin its hopes of self-government and a democratic future on crowdfunding.


The island in the south Pacific Ocean is seeking to raise $275,000 through fundrazr.com to part-fund a petition to the United Nations to be accorded protective rights as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, allowing the islanders to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.


Andre Nobbs, spokesperson for the Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited (NIPD), said Norfolk was fighting back against a hostile, and illegal, takeover.


“Against the wishes of an overwhelming majority on-island, we are on the cusp of losing our culture, heritage and identity because the Australia government wants greater access to our Economic Exclusion Zone and natural resources,” Mr Nobbs said.


“Australian interests have already surveyed for oil and natural gas and we fear they’ll wreck our eco-system hunting for oil when it’s an outdated commodity. The world is moving on from fossil fuels. Australia should too.”


As a volunteer committee standing up to the 12th biggest economy in the world the NIPD values influential support and FundRazr was a perfect partner given its success with community-oriented causes.


Founded in 2010, FundRazr has helped raise more than $80 million from over 60,000 campaigns in dozens of countries around the world and CEO Daryl Hatton is determined to provide Norfolk Island with the support to meet its fundraising goals.


“We are excited to see Norfolk Island become the first territory in the world to use crowdfunding to help defend its sovereignty,” Mr Hatton said. “Crowdfunding is all about people working together to solve funding problems. In this case, it allows concerned citizens all around the world to support the people of Norfolk Island in their fight to defend their rights.”


Nobbs says the island has a message for the world: “Whether you’re a believer in democracy, a champion for the little guy, a crusader for justice or an advocate for a threatened environment, you have the chance to put your hand up for an issue that truly matters.


“Please go to fundrazr.com/HandsUpForNorfolk and put your hand up to save our home.”


The genesis for the Hands Up campaign theme was last year’s community-led development of the Field Of Hands in Burnt Pine, a patch of grass containing a trove of green hands, each signed by a Norfolk Islander threatened by the Australian government’s actions in taking over control of the island. The theme has resonated on Norfolk, most recently at a community meeting on Monday night attended by more than 400+ people, just under a quarter of the total population.


Nobbs is confident the funds raised will allow NIPD to strengthen a compelling case to the United Nations to regain their democratic rights.


“We’re sorry we’ve had to ask the world for a hand, but the Australian government won’t engage with us, so we have been left with very few options. The exploitation has to stop.”


Mr Nobbs said the crowdfunding campaign would be divided into two parts - firstly, funds to assist the development and delivery of Norfolk Island’s petition to the United Nations to become a Non-Self-Governing Territory and, secondly, the evaluation and implementation of compelling legal action, if necessary, to return the island’s democratic rights. If the latter was not needed, a second campaign would be cancelled and any leftover funds would be put in trust to assist other small islands to fight for their indigenous rights.


“It’s criminal that we have been forced to fight for rights that are inalienably ours anyway, but if we can achieve our goal of freedom and inspire others in the process, it will have been a battle worth undertaking.”

For further information please contact:

 

Andre Nobbs, tel +6723 50273, email handsupfornorfolk@gmail.com and Skype HandsUp4Norfolk


Websites - Please feel free to jump on our website for background information and archived material, including media releases and rights-free images:


Hands Up Website = www.handsupfornorfolkisland.realstew.com

Twitter = @HandsUp4Norfolk

Facebook = www.facebook.com/handsupfornorfolk

 

Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited (NIPD) Website = www.norfolkschoice.com

 

 

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COMMUNITY GATHERING


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NORFOLK ISLAND COMMUNITY MEETING - MONDAY 18TH APRIL - RAWSON HALL



Geoff Gardner OAM, Vice-President of Norfolk Island People for Democracy Ltd (NIPD) welcomed all present and  updated the community on progress with the imminent lodging of the Petition with the United Nations by Geoffrey Robertson QC on behalf of the Norfolk Island People to have Norfolk Island inscribed onto the United Nations List of non-self-governing Territories. 


Geoff went on to explain that the next step after the lodging of the Petition is for NIPD to focus its efforts on working with the community on the re-building of the Island’s governance and sustainability as a self-governing Territory in free association with Australia; and to develop a community vision and long term plan for the future with a 20-year horizon, underpinned by a sound strategic financial plan.


Read on for what Geoff said (verbatim) at the meeting -


“My task this evening is to basically provide an update of Norfolk Island People for Democracy’s agenda and activities since our last meeting in February, and it will focus on three core areas –


One is the progress that we are making with our petition for submission to the United Nations; the second area is dealing with a matter that we hope that you will all engage in, and that is a community gathering; and the other matter is to do with the consultative framework and the development of a Vision and a Plan for Norfolk Island which I will address in due course.


“Since Minister Fletcher was here in January, we have continued to ask, through written request, for a meeting with him in Canberra. To meet with representatives of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy to discuss with him our aspirations, our aims and our goals. You will all recall, particularly those who were here at the meeting in February, that he gave to us, in this hall d Norfolk Island People for Democracy during his meeting in January, that he gave a very clear undertaking that he was prepared to meet with the Norfolk Island People for Democracy in Canberra. He also went on local radio and said exactly the same thing. To this date, we have not had a single response from him on our request, despite follow up letters to the Minister.


“Our activities since our public meeting on 19th February:  the Norfolk Island People for Democracy management group meet at least weekly. We are continuing to work on our Vision and future planning document; I’ll touch on that later. Our media team remains particularly active in social media, written press (both local and international) and via email. And those efforts will now be given significant additional momentum with Dean’s team’s involvement with the launch of their campaign.


“Our Headquarters have been open daily through the week to provide information, and that has given us an indication of the great interest and support, both locally and from our visitor population. Fundraising will need to continue, locally, and will be complemented, as Andre has already talked about, by the crowd funding initiative which is going global. To date, all of the funds that have been raised by NIPD have only been expended on our legal and other advisers’ fees and costs, and general administration of the organisation. All other activities have been funded by the individual members of NIPD and other specifically targeted philanthropic donations.


“Our team and our volunteers have been kept extremely busy. We have had visits of, and continuing discussions with a number of advisers; including, as many on the island know, Geoffrey Robertson QC and his daughter, Georgia. She advises on media strategies and campaigns and works for Amnesty International.

“We have been working tirelessly on the finalisation of the compilation of reports and other documentation to support our petition to the United Nations.

“On the issue of Incorporation of the Association Norfolk Island People for Democracy, that currently remains in limbo despite lodgment of our application in November 2015. Normally it is a two day process. We are still awaiting advice on our application from Commonwealth lawyers. The company structure of Norfolk Island People for Democracy has been finalised, hence our new name, the Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited. It is something that we have been required to do and that is what we have done.

 

“The Australian Government has continued to deny us access to the local radio; particularly in relation to advertising tonight’s meeting, claiming the content is political, despite making it clear that this is a community meeting to share information. They too, were invited to participate.


“Now to the progress of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy’s submission to the UN. Our timeframe which I reported on in February on behalf of NIPD has been brought forward from May until April (this month). The constitutional opinion that I discussed during that meeting has been finalised; the anthropological study  which was discussed during that meeting has been finalised; the geographical report has been finalised. Importantly, the cover petition has also been finalised. So what does all this mean? What is this all about?


“The primary aim of NIPD is to achieve listing and/or inscription on the UN List of Non-self Governing Territories. In so doing, it is designed to provide a choice to the people of Norfolk Island in determining our own future through an act of self determination. That act, ultimately, will be determined by referendum and the options which I have covered in previous presentations include full independence, integration and free association (which is the preferred course of action of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy). Importantly for this aim to be achieved, the UN has two specific criteria that need to be met.


“Firstly, ‘must be a territory for which a UN member has responsibility’. In our case, Norfolk Island being the territory and Australia is that UN member. The second specific criteria is “that the peoples of the territory have not attained a full measure of self-government”; and clearly that applies to Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island meets both those criteria.


“In addition, it needs to be demonstrated that the territory is geographically separate from the country administering it. You may recall when Minister Fletcher was here in January, the President of NIPD repeatedly asked him whether he could answer that question about Norfolk Island being geographically separate and he avoided it beautifully and never gave a straight answer to that. Well, we do have an answer to that that categorically states we are geographically separate.


“Additionally, we need to demonstrate that the territory is ethnically and/or culturally distinct from the country administering it. Clear and expensive reports have been prepared by experts in their respective fields, to accompany our petition to the UN that conclusively demonstrates that Norfolk Island meets both additional requirements; as I said; geographical separateness and ethnic and cultural distinctiveness. In addition to those requirements, other factors may then be bought into consideration such as administrative, political, juridical, economic and historical nature. Again, extensive research has led to the compilation of a further report addressing each and every one of those factors.


“Tonight the NIPD is confident, supported by views and opinions of experts in their fields of law, international law, the United Nations, geography, anthropology and linguistics (and I’ll just note as far as linguistics is concerned, the attendance tonight of Professor Peter Muhlhausler who is able to be with us tonight), to say that those expert opinions support the fact that Norfolk Island meets the criteria and the requirements of the United Nations to ensure that Norfolk Island is inscribed on the UN list of non-self-governing territories. Next week, that ball will be set in motion.


“Tonight I am delighted to announce that Mr Albert Buffett, President of the Council of Elders and Mr Ken Christian, the Vice President of the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, will travel to New York to meet up with Geoffrey Robertson QC to attend to the lodgment of our petition with the United Nations (loud applause) which is to seek inscription on the UN list of non-self governing territories.


“Geoffrey Robertson, as I alluded to earlier, visited the island with his daughter; he became fully conversant obviously with the documentation and the many opinions that we have received on all of those matters that I discussed earlier. His firm view was that we are fully deserving of taking our matter to the UN. It has his full support and he is incredibly confident of our position and our arguments.


“So what happens next? Well, no doubt, our claim will be referred to Australia, the government of Australia for their comment and response. It’s all part of the process. And no doubt there will be a countervailing and an opinion produced by them. The UN will consider the matter in due course, possibly as early as June, but at this stage there is no indication as to when a response from the UN will be received to our petition. As part of the lodgment of our petition, NIPD has specifically requested that the UN send a UN investigator, a UN Special Rapporteur to confirm our claims by visiting Norfolk Island as soon as is practicable.


“The second matter dealing with the consultative framework: Norfolk Island People for Democracy, aside from concentrating and focusing its efforts on the listing issue, has also been developing a consultative framework which we believe will give the opportunity, incentive and confidence of the entire community of Norfolk Island to be informed and educated on, and to participate and be involved in the process of rebuilding the island’s governance and sustainability as a self governing territory in free association with Australia. As I said while Norfolk Island People for Democracy has been focusing on our primary goal of listing with the UN, it has also been working on a Community Vision and long term Plan underpinned by a sound strategic financial plan. This was discussed also during the course of our February meeting.


“It is important to restate that political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a reason to delay an act of self determination. That’s directly out of United Nations paperwork.  The NIPD has, however, recognised the importance of demonstrating that those matters have, in fact, been given attention and NIPD have developed such a draft document entitled, ‘A Vision for Self-Government in Free Association with Australia’.


“I believe it’s the only bound copy because of limited resources, but I think Chris has suggested that if anybody wants to have a thumb through it, they may at the end of the meeting; it is in very draft form. But I’ll let you know what it includes:  Historical information and context; explanation about self determination and the UN process; a Vision for future governance, importantly not just picking up what we had, but making sure that we have a model of governance that will serve this community as is designed. It also includes a vision for economic development and a draft action plan for implementation. It is, however, important to state that it is only a guiding document. It’s been developed to lead discussion and to stimulate ideas, but the NIPD is very conscious that the future will be one that must be determined by the Norfolk Island community. Not the NIPD or any other body, association or government – but by the Norfolk Island community.


“The third matter deals with a proposed community gathering and NIPD has welcomed a proposal for a community gathering on Wednesday 27th April at 3pm at the Legislative Assembly building, or the Court House (applause). I’m not sure I’ve ever heard so much enthusiasm to go to the Court House or the Legislative Assembly! But that’s at Kingston for those of you who don’t know where it is, and the purpose of that community gathering is to recognise the importance of the petition to the UN and for representatives of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy to read the relevant sections of the petition and the supporting documentation. The gathering is designed to be purely symbolic of the community’s desire to bring back some order to our lives and to our futures. It is designed to use the international press focus that will result following lodgment of our petition in New York to show the world that the Norfolk Island people have been misrepresented and our rights at international law denied. Of course, we encourage your attendance and support. It is important to our efforts to have a significant visual representation of our community’s determination to be heard. It is time to show a truly united front to the world, we join with the Council of Elders in that regard, which Australia will not be able to ignore any longer. This opportunity to stand united is not an NIPD initiative, it is an initiative of the Norfolk Island community, supported by the NIPD, other organisations, individuals and, of course, our Council of Elders. Chelsea Evans will speak a little bit more about that later.

“In conclusion, there has been an incredible effort put into compiling our petition to the UN. Almost 12 months ago to the day, a group of very interested people, a dozen or so people, got together and decided that enough was enough and we needed to do something about it. That group eventually formed itself into the Norfolk Island People for Democracy and each and every one of those people have been working tirelessly to achieve our ultimate aim of listing with the UN. We are ready to go, launch day is imminent! Norfolk Island needs each and every one of you on board. If you want to have a meaningful say in your future and the future of Norfolk Island, then this is the only option that will give you that certainty. Norfolk’s voice can no longer be ignored. It’s our future and it must be our choice. On behalf of the Management Committee of the NIPD and over 1000 registered supporters, I want to thank you for your time and for your support to date.

There still remains much to do and regular updates will be provided.  Thanks very much.


From the Management Committee of

Norfolk Island People for Democracy Ltd

www.norfolkschoice.com

21 April 2016

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ENROLLING FOR THE ELECTION OF THE REGIONAL COUNCIL


NIPD supporters have, for some time, been expressing their views to us on how they would like to see the NIPD Management Committee deal with the upcoming election of the Regional Council.
 
Many of our supporters have either expressed a desire to ‘boycott the whole illegitimate election process’, or alternately, ‘create an NIPD Party and use our large supporter base to fill the Council with likeminded people’.
 
Whilst many in the Management Committee are sympathetic to both ideas, both come with risk. The risk of boycotting the election would allow a newly elected Council to use their position of purported ‘representative authority’ to further erode the rights of the Norfolk Island People. The risk of creating an NIPD Party is that historically the Norfolk Island People have never supported political parties, preferring instead to support the individuals they feel are the most capable of doing the job.
 
The truth is there is no one answer to this issue and the Management Committee has had to think long and hard about how to deal with this matter. In the end the Committee has, on balance, decided the risks of not participating are too high.

 

NIPD would like to encourage NIPD supporters to enrol for the election of a Regional Council if they are eligible to do so.
 
The NIPD Management Committee will ask its registered supporters to ONLY vote for candidates who support transitioning Norfolk Island's governance arrangements towards a new and appropriate democratic governance model for Norfolk Island based on and guided by a spirit of partnership, cooperation, shared values, respect for human rights and respect for the principles of the United Nations.

 

From the NIPD Management Committee
11 April 2016

www.norfolkschoice.com

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THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED



It is one of the conventions of self-government in the Westminster tradition that once self-government is granted to a political entity, it should not thereafter be taken away except in the most extreme circumstances, for example, war or civil disturbance.


The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department confirmed this principle in a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Northern Territory in 1974 (Parliamentary Paper No. 281 of 1974) in which it stated it would be politically unthinkable to take away such powers after they had been granted. And yet, history clearly records the Australian Parliament took away Norfolk Island’s Parliament and self-government against the wishes of the majority of the people.


“A MODERN MUTINY”

On Wednesday 20 April 2016, a documentary titled “A MODERN MUTINY” will be screened on SBS - just eight days before the 227th Anniversary of the world’s most famous mutiny –  “The Mutiny on the Bounty.”


Viewers may be able to get an insight from the title and perhaps the content in the SBS documentary from the preview.  In the preview the Norfolk Island Administrator is triumphantly showing the SBS film maker the word ‘MUTINY’ which was illegally painted on the walls of the Kingston compound. To see the preview to the SBS documentary go to -


http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/untold-australia/article/2016/03/14/modern-mutiny

One would have hoped the Administrator, a Vice Regal appointee, might have realised that his public presence in front of the word ‘MUTINY’ is inflammatory and may be viewed by some as incitement – or perhaps he did. Perhaps also the Administrator should take the time to revisit the findings of the 1926 Royal Commission regarding the removal of the then Norfolk Island  Administrator.  This would be a timely exercise in the light of the Administrator’s behaviour since he arrived on Norfolk Island and in light of the 2015 petition sent to the Governor-General requesting the Administrator’s immediate removal from Norfolk Island.

NIPD does not condone vandalism.  However, a friend of NIPD in Australia, a Sociologist, when asked what Mutiny in the Norfolk context means, said – “When someone writes Mutiny on a prominent wall in Norfolk Island, it is a poetic call to justice; a call to rally together around the heritage of Norfolk Islanders as an independent culture that deserves respect. So the word Mutiny in the current context is a cry of the heart and a political statement. But it is more. It is a poet at full lungs saying that the emperor has no clothes; that the new deal is a raw deal, that local hearts and minds feel trampled on. It is a humble request for Australia to give Norfolk Island a fair deal. Not to let the Norfolk Islander community see their livelihoods and their pride taken away.”


NIPD UPDATE

NIPD had hoped to have a weekly talk back and phone in segment on the Norfolk Island ‘Community Radio’ to allow supporters (or detractors) to ask questions relating to our work. Within days of making that request the work of our Association to uphold the rights of the Norfolk Island People was deemed to be ‘against the Government’. NIPD is not welcome on the Australian Government controlled radio – formerly known as the islands ‘Community Radio’.


NIPD had hoped to provide some protection to our Committee members by incorporating as a legal Association, a process that normally takes only a few days. NIPD applied in November 2015 and is yet to hear if that application is to be approved. We have been led to believe that the Commonwealth Legal Officers are still busy working out a way to refuse our application. In recent weeks we have had to take a more expensive legal path to protect our Committee members.


NIPD had hoped to garner the public support of a wider range of groups, Associations and individuals. However NIPD is having to receive their support through third parties (and in confidence) because of fear of retribution by the Australian Government.


It is extremely sad that standing up for one’s rights is met with such resistance in this modern day, and especially from a Government that asserts that it upholds  the principles of democracy and the rule of law.


Given the importance of our work we are understandably cautious and despite overwhelming odds the Committee is still making fantastic progress, so much so that our international, academic and political support base grows substantially as our state of affairs gathers greater profile. .

We leave you with these thoughts:

  • Norfolk Island belongs to the descendants of the original settlers from Pitcairn Island, and the many other people, irrespective of their nationality, who have chosen to make Norfolk Island their home since 1856.

  • Australia’s current actions are illegal in International Law.

  • On Monday 18 April NIPD will be holding a public meeting and will be in a position to update the Norfolk Island people on the progress and work of NIPD, including our application to be listed as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations.

From the Management Committee

www.norfolkschoice.com

31 March 2016

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INTRODUCING THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM ON NORFOLK ISLAND


Many people may not be aware that since at least 2006 the Commonwealth Government has had access to reports which modelled the economic impact of introducing Commonwealth law to Norfolk Island; and chose not to share all of the information in those reports with the Norfolk Island People.

                

Despite the many disturbing findings in these reports the Commonwealth Government has chosen to introduce all Commonwealth law to Norfolk Island.


NIPD recognises, that as a direct result of the negative economic impact of introducing Commonwealth law to Norfolk Island the introduction of the Australian social welfare system has become a necessity and not a luxury as we are being asked to believe.


NIPD also recognises -

  1. That some people may be financially advantaged by the introduction of the Australian Social Welfare system - and we will fight to have those support mechanisms retained; and

  1. That in the shift from the Norfolk Island social welfare system into the Australian social welfare system there are demonstrable and serious grievances regarding the financial effect on those people who will lose entitlements – and we will fight to have those benefits restored.

Both of the above outcomes can be achieved under NIPD’s preferred governance model of ‘Self-government in Free-Association with Australia’.

And finally, NIPD recognises that there are some people who are worried that Australia may leave Norfolk high and dry if Norfolk Island is listed as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations. This is not the case. Under international law Australia, as a member of the United Nations, has a range of obligations to Norfolk Island including:

  • To ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses; and

 

  • To develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement.

 

Management Committee

www.norfolkschoice.com

23 March 2016

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THE SILENCE MAY SEEM DEAFENING....



But in the silence really positive progress is being made and the members of the NIPD Management Committee are working hard behind the scenes to fine tune the Strategy to have Norfolk Island listed with the United Nations as a Non-Self-Governing Territory.  The community will be called together in early April so you can be updated and to let you know how you can be involved.


“No Man is an Island, Entire of Itself: The future of Governance on Norfolk Island”…


This was the title of a Seminar on Norfolk Governance held in Canberra on 10 March 2016. NIPD was invited to participate in the Seminar which was convened by Jon Stanhope and Professor Roger Wettenhall, and hosted by the University of Canberra's Institute of Governance.  Two members from the NIPD Management Committee attended. A full write up on the Seminar can be read elsewhere in Norfolk Online.


A REMINDER  that The Centre for Democracy is open weekly on a Thursday evening from 5.30 to 7 pm and the Management Committee invites people to drop in for a chat on current issues.

The Centre is also now open weekdays from 9am till midday. Drop in and have a chat. Have a grumble or a laugh with us. Share a story or a memory or two!!  Or even bring your “Smoko.” The Management Committee would welcome offers from supporters able to give an hour or more each week to man the Centre. Sincere thanks to those who have already put down their names.


Management Committee.

www.norfolkschoice.com

18 March 2016

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FUTURE GOVERNANCE ON NORFOLK ISLAND



“Future Governance on Norfolk Island”

Convened by Adjunct Professor Jon Stanhope and Emeritus Professor Roger Wettenhall

Hosted by the University of Canberra’s Institute of Governance on 10th March, 2016


The Canberra Seminar on “Future Governance on Norfolk Island” was attended by three from Norfolk Island.  Despite the non-attendance of invited politicians and representatives from DIRD, the seminar was successful, interesting, and exciting in the context of having so many academics speaking about governance, both in the Norfolk Island context, or from their perspective, and their insight into some other small jurisdictions.


Adjunct Professor Jon Stanhope (a former Administrator of Christmas Island), as co-Convenor, imparted considerable information about the unfortunate or inappropriate way the external territories have been, and are still being treated.  Norfolk Island is the newest so affected, but in essentially the same manner as the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT’s)!


Dr Chris Nobbs and Geoff Bennett, by way of presentations with a Q & A that followed each, covered a number of topics about certain events and changes happening within the Norfolk Island polity, touching on some historical context to Norfolk Island’s governance, whilst also focusing on some of the more disturbing elements of change and lack of meaningful consultation, in recent times. 


The genesis, the role, the aspirations, and the current activities of Norfolk People for Democracy Ltd were conveyed to the Seminar. 


The Seminar was challenged to consider the development of a more appropriate form of governance for small, insular, tightly-knit communities or jurisdictions – a model that might better address the difficulties that can arise from legislators being too accessible by the constituents; the inevitable need to minimise conflict with relatives, friends, and neighbours when sensitive decisions are taken that impact upon them; and to thus limit or eliminate  less than desirable outcomes in decision-taking, especially when addressing important change.


Professor Aulich observed that an actual NSW model of a Regional Council does not exist (it does in Queensland), and thus, being guided by the NSW Local Government Act might present some difficulties because this Act does not cover a Regional Council model.  There appeared to be consensus that, even though the model of governance for Norfolk Island is to be called a Regional Council, it is more likely to be a Shire Council, re-branded.


Emeritus Professor Roger Wettenhall spoke about different small islands around the world that have different governance models, including many with ‘free association’ status with a larger administration.  Professor Wettenhall has had a long interest and involvement with Norfolk Island, including the co-authorship of the 1992 Report – “Norfolk Island and Canberra – A Community of Interest?”  (A Report that concluded that there was NO community of interest)


Vivien Twyford, who facilitated the first November 2014 Public Meeting in Norfolk Island, spoke of her experiences arising from that meeting; the need to keep the dialogue open; and her difficulty of understanding the extent to which the Commonwealth seems to resist more adequate consultation. In her expressed view, better outcomes are derived through meaningful collaboration.


Former Administrator of Norfolk Island Alan Kerr made a moving presentation about being sad, distraught, and somewhat angered over the manner in which change was being imposed upon the people of Norfolk Island.  Alan spoke of his time as Administrator; and about some of the important considerations such an appointee should address when first appointed - which is essentially, to gain an understanding of the people, their aspirations and their concerns ahead of any serious thoughts of major governance changes.  A very humbling presentation!


Overall, the Seminar was very successful, but needs some further support to develop considered outcomes.  Having academics expressing a willingness to discuss and shape a free association governance model would be a great asset to Norfolk Island.  There was sufficient dialogue with the academics to suggest that they were ready to respond to the challenge of developing a more robust, sustainable, accountable method of governing, with more effective participation by the people being so governed.  This opportunity is to be encouraged.


Contributed

17 March 2016


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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE CENTRE FOR DEMOCRACY



The Norfolk Island People for Democracy Management Committee would like to thank all those who attended the soft opening of the Centre for Democracy last Saturday. We appreciate all those who were able to pop in and say hello, who brought food, gave words of encouragement, stayed and sat for a cup of tea and made those around them feel welcome. Thanks also to the many who, since the Centre's early beginnings, have lent a hand to get us ready to open the doors.


A new ‘happening’ at The Centre for Democracy


Commencing Thursday 10 March the Centre will be open weekly on a Thursday evening from 5.30 to 7 pm and the Management Committee invites people to drop in for a chat on current issues.


Daytime hours of opening of the Centre are currently being settled – more about that next week.


Management Committee

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“IF HISTORY TELLS US ANYTHING, IT IS THAT PERSECUTION AND PEACE ARE INCOMPATIBLE”



On February 1, 2016, AAP, the Australian independent news provider announced that the Australian government wants to ‘smooth over’ the integration of Norfolk Island after ending the island's limited self governance in May 2015.

In 2014 the Commonwealth Government initiated a demonstrably inadequate consultation process which ultimately led to the abolition of Self-Government on Norfolk Island in June 2015. Left without democratic representation the Norfolk Island People formed an Association, the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD), to fight for the rights of the Norfolk Island People. NIPD membership initially included the Chief Ministers of the previous 15 years of Self-Government on Norfolk Island and has now ballooned to include the overwhelming majority of the Island’s resident adult population.

The NIPD management team noted “the flawed consultation process; Commonwealth Government sponsored press censorship; a refusal to enter into meaningful dialogue on an alternative model that could potentially save many tens of millions of dollars; the loss of voting rights of the Norfolk Island People, and the underhanded attempts by the Commonwealth Government to deny to the Norfolk Island People their fundamental human rights have conspired to raise the anxiety and anger levels on the Island to beyond boiling point. The best opportunity to ‘smooth’ things over with the Norfolk Island People appears to have been squandered by the Commonwealth Minister Paul Fletcher during his visit to the Island last week”.

Whilst NIPD recognises the important role it can play in attempting to keep the peace on Norfolk Island it is being frustrated by the Commonwealth’s continued propensity to add fuel to the fire.

Chris Magri, NIPD President, during discussions with the management team on the volatile situation on Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth Government's most recent decision to embargo NIPD from the Island's Community radio station, said:

“If history tells us anything, it is that persecution and peace are incompatible. If the Prime Minister is serious about ‘smoothing over’ the Norfolk Island People, NIPD can assist. In fact, the task is decidedly simple:

1.              Draw a line under the current irreconcilable process until such time as a mutually acceptable resolution can be found;

2.              Commit to giving the Norfolk Island People the right to vote and participate in the making of all of laws that affect them;

           3.              Respect freedom of speech on Norfolk Island; and

4.              Have Australia’s obligations to the Norfolk Island People under the Charter of the United Nations tested by the proper independent authorities.”


4 February 2016

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AT RAWSON HALL LAST NIGHT IT WAS CLEAR THAT - “THE MOUSE HAS ROARED”



With almost 400 chairs filled and large numbers of the Norfolk Island people lining the back and sides of the hall, no-one could deny that the Norfolk Island people were determined that Federal Minister Paul Fletcher would understand that they are upset and angry.


We summarise the outcome of the meeting as follows:

1.        There was almost absolute unanimity displayed by the community relating to the misleading and flawed consultation process;

2.        There was almost absolute unanimity displayed by the community in anger against the loss of self-government;

3.        Despite being touted as a ‘consultation’ Minister Fletcher did confirm that there was nothing this community could do or say which would result in a return to self-government; and

4.        When pressed on the Norfolk Island People’s rights at international law, the Minister said “he has discussed this with the Attorney-General’s Department and Norfolk Island has been a part of Australia for more than 100 years and remains so today. I think the official position is ‘These reforms do not alter Norfolk Island’s status as an Australian Territory forming part of Australia.


NIPD’s response to Minister Fletcher is -

1.        Self-government has been removed.

2.        Norfolk Island is now a Non Self-Governing Territory.

3.        Australia’s obligation under Article 73e of the Charter of the United Nations and Norfolk Islands eligibility to be inscribed on the United Nations List of Non Self-Governing Territories has now been confirmed by eminent international lawyers.

4.        Inscription does not require the support of the Commonwealth Government. However, NIPD is disappointed that Australia has chosen to refuse to acknowledge its obligations and regrets that this decision may adversely affect Australia’s International reputation as an advocate for rules based global order.

5.        NIPD expects the United Nations will begin consideration of the inscription of Norfolk Island sometime in June, 2016.

6.        Upon Inscription, there are protective rights accorded to the Norfolk Island People by the United Nations to allow them to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.


Prime Minister Turnbull, speaking on radio in Washington DC on 19 January 2016, spoke of the international order, the Rule of Law, where MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT, assuring the global community that Australia will always work with the United States and our other allies and partners to uphold that principle.


NIPD asks the Prime Minister – how does Minister Fletcher’s assertion that ‘there was nothing this community could do or say which would result in a return to self-government’ – align with his belief that MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT?


From the NIPD Management Committee

www.norfolkschoice.com

 29 January 2016

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WHY IS THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA BEING SO OBSTRUCTIVE? WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF?



The Preamble to the 'Charter for a Free Press in Australia' states -


“Freedom of opinion and expression is an inalienable right of a free people. Australia is committed to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration provides: "Everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".


In a truly democratic society open debate, discussion, criticism and dissent are central to the process of generating informed and considered choices. These processes are crucial to the formation of values and priorities and help in assessing and finding solutions to social, economic and political problems.


A free press is a symbol of a free people. The people of Australia have a right to freedom of information and access to differing opinions and declare that the following principles are basic to an unfettered flow of news and views both within Australia and across the nation's borders.”


In our mail out to NIPD registered supporters on Thursday morning we advised that the Commonwealth had selectively silenced freedom of speech on Norfolk Island; and that the Commonwealth had used its powers under the Norfolk Island Broadcasting Act to remove from local radio notices an NIPD community announcement being aired on Radio Norfolk.  It was claimed that the notice was “political” and “sectorial”.

Our announcement related to –

  • the Flag Raising Ceremony at the NIPD Centre for Democracy that afternoon (to be reported on next week);
    • the refusal of a one-on-one meeting between NIPD and Minister Fletcher; and
  • encouragement of the community to attend the meeting with Minister Fletcher and challenge the lack of democratic process relating to the current and future governance arrangements for Norfolk Island

Last Friday Members of the NIPD Management Committee (Chris, Geoff, Lisle and Andre) spoke to the community on Radio Norfolk and told the community they would be doing this on a weekly basis each Friday.


NIPD has today been advised of further new directions issued to the Radio Manager by the Commonwealth appointed Executive Director regarding Radio Norfolk’s programming policy that –


            “all interviews are to be pre-recorded, unless otherwise agreed. Interviews will be reviewed through the office of the Executive Director and I, as Manager, will then be advised of their suitability for broadcast."


This new policy would seem to be a new interpretation of an existing (draft) policy specifically designed to selectively silence freedom of speech on Norfolk Island.

In response NIPD has today formally requested that we be offered a weekly live broadcast time-slot that offers radio listeners the opportunity to phone in live or email questions relating to the Goals and Objectives of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy, an unincorporated association committed to educating the Norfolk Island People on their rights at law.


In this regard we have extended the opportunity for Mr Gesling to include a person with a countervailing or alternative view of his choice to join us 'on air’.

We will keep you informed.


From the NIPD Management Committee

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THE COMMONWEALTH HAS SELECTIVELY SILENCED FREEDOM OF SPEECH ON NORFOLK ISLAND!



The Commonwealth has for the first time in Norfolk’s history used its powers under the Norfolk Island Broadcasting Act to prevent our community announcement being aired on Radio Norfolk claiming it to be “political” and “sectorial”.

As we have no other immediate means of informing the general community about our flag raising ceremony tomorrow (Thursday 28 Jan) we ask that you all ensure your friends and family are aware of this important community event.  Please see below the community announcement which we sought to broadcast:

OFFICIAL FLAG RAISING CEREMONY

 “NIPD would like to give a big thank you to all of the wonderful people of Norfolk Island who continue to donate their professional expertise, time, money and materials to assist in refurbishing the People’s Centre for Democracy in Taylors Rd.

Everyone is invited to celebrate with NIPD at the first official flag raising ceremony on Thursday 28th January at 5.15 pm sharp. The timing of this ceremony has been specifically chosen to allow everyone to participate in the flag raising ceremony and then to attend the public meeting at Rawson hall at 6pm.

The community is advised that NIPD has been formally refused a one-on-one meeting with Minister Fletcher. As such we hope that you will join with us at Rawson Hall, where we will all have the opportunity to challenge the lack of democratic process relating to the current and future governance arrangements for Norfolk Island and to seek the Minister’s commitment to work directly with the Norfolk Island people in a spirit of partnership, under the principles of the United Nations”.

WHAT: Official Flag Raising Ceremony

WHERE: People’s Centre for Democracy, Taylors Road

WHEN: Thursday 28 January 2016 - 5.15PM

 

From the NIPD Management Committee

27 January 2016

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PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM BLIGH TURNBULL SPEAKS OUT ‘THAT MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT’….



Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC on 19 January 2016 about China and the islands in the South China Sea, says –


“Let me conclude with Book 5 of Thucydides history. There, the independent island of Milos wanted to maintain its neutrality in the war. The ambassadors from Athens were unmoved and when the Mileans appealed to justice, they were met with a sneer as timeless as it is chilling. ‘You know as well as we do’, the ambassadors from Athens said, ‘that justice is to be found only as between equals in power. As for the rest, the strong do as they will and the weak suffer as they must.’

 

“Now, the international order, the Rule of Law, seeks to ensure that that is not so. That MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT. (Emphasis is NIPDs) And that is why we will always work with the United States and our other allies and partners to uphold it.” (Broadcast on ABC News 24)


NIPD wrote to the Prime Minister on 9 January 2016 bringing to his attention how the Australian Parliament was misled during the passage of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015; how the Parliament ignored the wishes expressed by the majority of the Norfolk Island People in their Petition to the Parliament; how the Parliament ignored the results of the May 2015 Referendum and ignored the Remonstrance Motion of the Norfolk Island Parliament delivered to the Australian Parliament prior to the passage of the Bill. 


NIPD has proposed to the Prime Minister that in light of recent events involving Jamie Briggs, MP, an Inquiry into his dealings with Norfolk Island would be welcomed. We are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s belief “MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT” and look forward to his instituting an inquiry to ensure that the Australian Government and the Australian Parliament were not misled in reaching their conclusion that the Norfolk Island Parliament should be abolished and Self-Government removed.


NIPD has sought a meeting with the Prime Minister while at the same time encouraging him to accompany Minister Fletcher on his visit 28/29 January.

In conversation with Minister Fletcher’s electorate office on Monday, NIPD was advised that the Minister has received the invitation from NIPD for him to meet with the Management Committee next week and that the request is with his ministerial adviser Mr Nick Hannan. We were led to understand that we will receive a response shortly.

CLICK HERE To listen to the interview With Prime Minister Turnbull 19th Janurary 2016

THANK YOU ‘NORFOLKERS – BOTH ON AND OFF ISLAND - FOR YOUR CONTINUING GENEROSITY WITH DONATIONS!

From the NIPD Management Committee



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DONATIONS CONTINUE TO FLOW IN ... THANK YOU NORFOLK!



As advised by Vice-President Geoff Gardner OAM at the Fund Raiser/Get Together held on 6 January – just eight days ago - over $35,000 has already been covered at discounted rates for the legal opinion received that fully supports our endeavours for listing as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations. In addition expenses to further our progress to the United Nations - including the compilation of the anthropological and ethnicity reports - are estimated to be around $100,000. As previously advised NIPD wrote to Minister Paul Fletcher on 31 December 2015 bringing to his attention Australia’s obligation to inscribe Norfolk Island on the List of Non-Self-Governing Territories and re-affirming it is the desire of NIPD to engage with the Australian Government in this process in a spirit of co-operation and good will.  We have again written to the Minister and to the Administrator requesting confirmation of a time to meet with the Minister to discuss this issue during his visit to the Island 28/29 January.

 

If Australia agreed to meet its international obligation in respect of Norfolk Island, our fund-raising would not be required.

 

Our bank balance currently stands at just under $19,000 – a tremendous response – almost 1/5th of the way in just 8 days to reaching our target of $100,000!

 

Donations – no matter how small - $1, $10, $100, $1000 – whatever you can afford – will be gratefully received.  Our bank details are -

 

ACCOUNT NAME:       NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY

ACCOUNT TYPE:         Community Solution Cheque Account

HOME BRANCH:         WESTPAC NORFOLK ISLAND

BSB/ACCOUNT NO:     032855 / 187591

 

Donations can be paid electronically, paid at the Westpac Bank, sent by cheque to NIPD P.O. Box 783 Norfolk Island or left with any member of the NIPD Management Committee.

 

THANK YOU ‘NORFOLKERS – BOTH ON AND OFF ISLAND - FOR YOUR CONTINUING GENEROSITY!

 

From the NIPD Management Committee

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THANK YOU NORFOLK



THANK YOU NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR YOUR PASSION AND YOUR GENEROSITY ….

Elsewhere in Norfolk Online you will find a write up on the fantastic Pot Luck Fundraiser/Get Together held on Wednesday 6 January – inclement weather turned out to be a blessing with a venue change from The Compound to the Parish Centre; the general consensus being that it was the perfect venue for a community gathering and for the ‘repeat performance” that people are already requesting!!


This short note is to thank you one and all; both those who came to the get together and were so very generous; and also to thank those unable to attend and who have given so generously by donating online.  The word went out on Social Media on Tuesday the 5th January that donations could now be made online and by Thursday, just 48 hours later, the bank balance is $15,336.90 - $5566.90 being the takings from the ‘Get Together’, the balance being funds donated by direct deposit.


A truly amazing effort and a testament to the passion of the Norfolk Island People to achieve the NIPD goal of Norfolk Island being listed with the United Nations as a Non-Self-Governing Territory thereby giving the Norfolk Island People their inalienable right to exercise ‘peacefully and freely their right to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development’ (United Nations Resolutions 1514 and 1541).


Donations of course will continue to be gratefully received and the bank details are as follows:


ACCOUNT NAME:       NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY

ACCOUNT TYPE:         Community Solution Cheque Account

HOME BRANCH:         NORFOLK ISLAND

BSB/ACCOUNT NO:    032855 / 187591


                     THANK YOU ‘NORFOLKERS_ – BOTH ON AND OFF ISLAND - FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!


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A RECAP OF NORFOLK ISLAND'S SITUATION - AND SOME GREAT NEWS


On 19 March 2015 Norfolk Island suffered an enormous blow against its government processes when the Commonwealth government announced its unwarranted and ill-informed decision to remove the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.

 

On 8 May 2015, the Norfolk Island People voted overwhelmingly in support of their “right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development”. Australia chose to ignore the outcome of that referendum and disregard the rights of the Norfolk Island People.

 

On 18 May 2015 the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) came together to set in motion an action plan to ensure the rights of the Norfolk Island People are restored and protected thereafter.

 

On 1 July 2015 NIPD provided the following summary of Norfolk Island’s situation: 

 

  1. Self-government has been removed.
  2. Norfolk Island is now a Non Self-Governing Territory.
  3. Norfolk Island may now be inscribed on the United Nations List of Non Self-Governing Territories.
  4. Upon Inscription, there are protective rights accorded to the Norfolk Island People by the United Nations to allow them to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

 

Now in December 2015 more than 1000 people have officially joined with us on our journey to ensure the Norfolk Island People are afforded the right to freely determine their future political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Many others fearful of losing their jobs have joined in an ‘unofficial’ capacity.

 

The action plan set in motion by the NIPD in May has progressed positively, beyond expectations.

 

NIPD can now say with a very high degree of certainty that the Norfolk Island People will be afforded their right to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

 

Accordingly, NIPD will be writing to representatives of the Commonwealth Government and to the wider Norfolk Island Community inviting all and sundry to participate in a consultation process regarding recovery of self-government for Norfolk Island and providing options for future governance and economic development on Norfolk Island.

 

NIPD has developed a consultation draft of a Plan designed to inform the wider Community on the Association’s stated preferred model of self-government in free-association with Australia in accordance with the rights accorded to the Norfolk Island People by the United Nations. However, it is recognized that ultimately the decisions about Norfolk Island’s future governance and relationship with Australia will be decided by the Norfolk Island people through a referendum. The draft consultation Plan will be published in January 2016.

 

Now that Norfolk Island’s pathway to inscription is confirmed, NIPD is compelled to remind the Commonwealth that it is one of Australia’s international legal obligations to ensure repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their rights.

 

This must include ceasing to implement or change laws applicable in Norfolk Island unless it can be demonstrated through processes that are democratic and fair that the implementation of those laws have the support of the majority of the Norfolk Island People.

 

 

“The official Australian stance on Norfolk Island is, in short, patently ridiculous’.

The United Nations Association of Australia 1978



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NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY - UPDATE



The new Management Committee is working very well together and making great leaps forward in achieving our stated goal of having Norfolk Island Listed with the United Nations.


Whilst our priority is to focus on listing with the United Nations the Committee has also been busy working through a number of matters including the formal incorporation of the Association, leasing arrangements and insurances, etc. The outside of our future headquarters, the former 'Just the Thing' premises in Taylors Road, has been washed ready for painting and once insurance is in place, interior cleaning and painting will commence.


Regarding refurbishing of our headquarters the committee is looking for some good quality furniture and fittings to be donated or used on loan in the new headquarters which include:

TV

Computer

Desks 

Tables

Chairs

Floor lamps

Sofa
Easy chairs
Microwave
Electric kettle

Please contact Robin 52567 or Chelsea 50432 or email info@norfolkschoice.com for information. For those people who have been inquiring how they can make donations it is anticipated bank details will be finalised by the end of next week.


The members of the Management Committee extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Greg Quintal (Snr) MBE, a champion of democracy on Norfolk Island.

 

IF YOU ARE STILL NOT RECEIVING NIPD EMAILS please make sure that you have the following email addresses in your address book –

 

info@norfolkschoice.com and pdsupport@ninet.nf

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SING IT LOUD AND PROUD



The positive atmosphere was tangible in Rawson Hall Wednesday evening when registered supporters came together to cast their votes at the first special general meeting of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD).  ).  It was also great to see so many people lodging proxies because they were unable to attend.

 

The evening was chaired by Lisa Richards and the following formal business outcomes were achieved:

 

  • A Management Committee was elected comprising the 14 registered supporters who had nominated for a position on the Committee;
  • Agreement that NIPD be incorporated as an Association under the Associations Incorporation Act 2005 (NI); and
  • The draft Constitution distributed to registered supporters electronically as well as being available on www.norfolkschoice.com was agreed including an amendment to clause 6.1 to change the number of members on the Management Committee from 12 to 14.

 

Geoff Gardner gave an overview of the work undertaken by the interim management committee since May this year and of the work ahead for the Association; Robin Adams shared the news that Dianne Menghetti had offered her premises in Taylors Road known as ‘Just the Thing’ rent free as the Headquarters for NIPD - the resounding applause that followed this announcement demonstrated that the gesture was certainly appreciated and agreed; and finally Brett Sanderson spoke about the need for volunteers to assist the management committee with a broad range of tasks and invited willing helpers to register their names before leaving.  A sincere thanks to the many who put their names down to help.

 

The meeting concluded with all singing ‘loud and proud’ the Pitcairn Anthem led by Shane McCoy.

 

Thanks all yorlyii for making the evening the positive success that it was.

 

IF YOU ARE STILL NOT RECEIVING NIPD EMAILS please make sure that you have the following email addresses in your address book –

 

info@norfolkschoice.com and pdsupport@ninet.nf



Please 'contact us' for more information.

NOTICE OF FIRST SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING OF NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY AN UNINCORPORATED BODY



Notice is hereby given to all registered supporters of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) that the first Special General Meeting of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (the Association) as an unincorporated Association is to be held at RAWSON HALL Norfolk Island on Wednesday 11th November 2015 commencing at 6.30 pm.


The main purpose of the meeting is to elect the initial Management Committee of registered supporters; pass a resolution to effect the incorporation of NIPD as an incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Act 2005 (Norfolk Island); and discuss matters directly relating to the goals of NIPD going forward.


A copy of a draft Constitution for the Association can be viewed online at www.norfolkschoice.com.

Whilst all persons are invited to attend only those who are registered as supporters of NIPD at the time and date of commencement of the first special general meeting on 11 November 2015 are eligible to vote in the meeting either in person or by proxy.


Nominations for election to the Management Committee HAVE NOW CLOSED and the following persons have put forward their names for election:

A ‘concerned visitor’ wrote the following to NIPD: “Having worked in the Govt. Welfare sector in Australia, don’t let your well-educated, well-adjusted kids anywhere near the dole when it arrives! It ruins the work ethic, & undermines parent’s control. The problem with the dole in Australia is it is ‘One size fits all’. 3. When the Govt. letter arrives offering your kid the dole, chuck it in the bin! 4. Your Democracy can be what you make it. 5. There is a new government in Canberra, which is better at listening. (Well, better than the last one) Good luck! And best wishes. You are a great community.”

Geoff Gardner

Lisle Snell

David Buffett

Andre Nobbs

Robin Adams

Geoff Bennett

Chelsea Evans

Chris Magri

Mitchell Graham

Brett Sanderson

Albert Buffett

Troy Hamilton-Irvine

Phil McDowell

Mary Christian-Bailey


Completed proxy forms must be lodged with NIPD BY NO LATER THAN 6.30 pm on TUESDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2015. Registered supporters unable to attend the meeting can nominate a proxy to vote on their behalf at the meeting.  Proxy forms were sent electronically to all registered supporters on 22 October 2015. They are also available on www.norfolkschoice.com.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

UPDATE


Notice is hereby given to all registered supporters of Norfolk Island People of Democracy (NIPD) that the first Special General Meeting of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (the Association) as an unincorporated Association is to be held at the Parish Centre, Norfolk Island on Wednesday 11th November 2015 commencing at 6.30 pm. The main purpose of the meeting is to elect the initial Management Committee of 12 registered supporters; pass a resolution to effect the incorporation of NIPD as an incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Act 2005 (Norfolk Island); and other matters directly relating to the incorporation of the NIPD.

All persons who are registered with the NIPD as supporters of NIPD at the time and date of commencement of the first special general meeting on 11 November 2015 are eligible to attend and participate in the meeting either in person or by proxy.

Forms for (a) nomination to the Management Committee, and (b) election of a proxy for supporters unable to attend the meeting have been sent electronically to all registered supporters on 22 October 2015 and a copy of a draft Constitution for the Association can be viewed online at www.norfolkschoice.com.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that registered supporters provide an email contact and, if you have not already done that, please go online and register at www.norfolkschoice.com or send an email to pdsupport@ninet.nf. If you have already provided an email contact and ARE NOT receiving emails from NIPD PLEASE ADVISE pdsupport@ninet.nf as soon as possible.

CALL TO ACTION to all NIPD registered supporters The number of registered supporters of NIPD has almost reached one thousand – a wonderful response both from the Norfolk Island People and from non-residents who join us in supporting the return of selfgovernment to Norfolk Island. NIPD asks registered supporters to -

 educate family and friends on our purpose and encourage them to register their support online at www.norfolkschoice.com;

 share your thoughts on how we can drive a global media/social media campaign – remembering that from small beginnings great things can grow;

 be innovative and create an awesome slogan, catch cry or #hashtag (20 letters or less).

So please, share your ideas, don’t be shy, all suggestions will receive respectful consideration – just send them to NIPD by email at pdsupport@ninet.nf or post us your ideas to Box 367 Norfolk Island 2899; and remember -

Election to Membership of the initial Management Committee is open to all registered NIPD supporters and NIPD encourages all interested registered supporters to nominate for election

Please 'contact us' for more information.

NIPD - UPDATE


Notice is hereby given to all registered supporters of Norfolk Island People of Democracy (NIPD) that the first Special General Meeting of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (the Association) as an unincorporated Association is to be held at the Parish Centre, Norfolk Island on Wednesday 11th November 2015 commencing at 6.30 pm.

The main purpose of the meeting is to elect the initial Management Committee of 12 registered supporters; pass a resolution to effect the incorporation of NIPD as an incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Act 2005 (Norfolk Island); and other matters directly relating to the incorporation of the NIPD.

All persons who are registered with the NIPD as supporters of the NIPD at the time and date of commencement of the first special general meeting on 11 November 2015 are eligible to attend and participate in the meeting either in person or by proxy.

Forms for (a) nomination to the Management Committee, and (b) election of a proxy for supporters unable to attend the meeting will be sent electronically to all registered supporters on 22 October 2015 and a copy of a draft Constitution for the Association can be viewed online at norfolkschoice.com on the same day.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that registered supporters provide an email contact and, if you have not already done that, please go online and register at www.norfolkschoice.com or send an email to pdsupport@ninet.nf. If you have already provided an email contact and ARE NOT receiving emails from NIPD please advise pdsupport@ninet.nf as soon as possible.

CALL TO ACTION to all NIPD registered supporters The number of registered supporters of NIPD has almost reached one thousand – a wonderful response both from the Norfolk Island People and from non-residents who join us in supporting the return of selfgovernment to Norfolk Island. NIPD asks registered supporters to -

 educate family and friends on our purpose and encourage them to register their support online at www.norfolkschoice.com;

 share your thoughts on how we can drive a global media/social media campaign – remembering that from small beginnings great things can grow;

 be innovative and create an awesome slogan, catch cry or #hashtag (20 letters or less).

So please, share your ideas, don’t be shy, all suggestions will receive respectful consideration – just send them to NIPD by email at pdsupport@ninet.nf or post us your ideas to Box 367 Norfolk Island 2899; and remember -

Election to Membership of the initial Management Committee is open to all registered NIPD supporters and NIPD encourages all interested registered supporters to nominate for election

The below link is to Bounty Day celebrations in Brisbane in 2007 by people living/visiting there – a treasure for Norfolk’s archives especially to hear the late ‘Kik’ Quintal singing the Pitcairn Anthem

 https://www.facebook.com/stefan.ritsch.1/videos/10154272851008662/

Please 'contact us' for more information.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE



“YOU ARE NOT ALONE – YOU HAVE RIGHTS – IT IS ABOUT THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE” 

This was the key message that the Norfolk Island community was given by Gary Russell JP, National Vice President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand, at the open community forum held last night at the Paradise Hotel. His Honour the Administrator and the Chair of the Advisory Committee were formally invited to attend the meeting.

Gary came to Norfolk at the invitation of Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD), at his own expense, to educate the NIPD team, and the community, on the work of the United Nations; and to discuss options for NIPD to achieve its goal to have Norfolk Island listed as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations. The standing ovation from the 120 plus attendees at the conclusion of Gary’s talk was testament to how well his message – “You are not alone – You have rights –

It is all about the wishes of the people” was received. It was extremely interesting to hear Gary talk of his involvement in peace building activities over the years including in Europe with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the Pacific. It was certainly a fitting tribute to the passion Gary brought to the meeting, speaking both on the work of the United Nations, and on behalf of the Norfolk Island people, their culture and traditions, their beliefs, their history and their rights to self-determination, that Gary was presented with a Norfolk Island hat so beautifully woven and donated by Greg Magri. Attendees would have left the meeting feeling inspired and encouraged to step forward with confidence in undertaking the journey to be listed as a non-self-governing territory and attain their right to an act of self-determination through the United Nations.

Readers may not be aware that this is not the first time that Norfolk Island has commenced a journey to the United Nations and the Report–“Norfolk Island, Australia & the U.N.” - presented to the United Nations Association of Australia Federal Executive by John Bulbeck, Hon. Federal Media Officer in 1978 provides excellent background on that journey; a journey that was interrupted by the granting of limited self-government by Australia through the passage of the Norfolk Island Act 1979.

Of particular interest in the report is the recognition in 1978 that, quote - “Norfolk Island is at present quite clearly a non-self-governing colony of Australia. No challenge to that reality on moral, legal, political or sociological grounds is sustainable”; and that Australia has no justification for continuing to claim that Norfolk Island is part of metropolitan Australia and therefore not subject to Australia’s obligations to the United Nations about non-self-governing territories.

The Report further speaks of the need for recognition that “Australia has firmly committed itself to the internationally recognised principle of self-determination. Australia practices this through its own Constitution. It is clearly inconsistent for the Federal Government to continue to refuse this right to the people of Norfolk Island.”

With the removal of the Norfolk Island Parliament in June 2015 it is again being argued that Norfolk Island is “a non-self-governing colony of Australia”; and accordingly Norfolk Island People for Democracy are now proceeding under the accepted international protocols to be listed as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations.

Norfolk Island People for Democracy extend the hand of friendship to Gary Russell JP and thank him for taking the time to visit our shores. Gary’s next invitation is to speak at the Human Rights Organisation to be held in Texas USA 27th October!

Please 'contact us' for more information.

EVENING WITH GARY RUSSELL JP





An evening with Gary Russell JP, National Vice President, United Nations Association of New Zealand

The well attended community forum at the Paradise Hotel on Wednesday evening was a great success with Gary being given a standing ovation at the end of his talk on the work of the United Nations and the options for NIPD to achieve its goal to have Norfolk Island listed as a non-self-governing territory with the United Nations. Full coverage of the meeting can be found elsewhere under the banner –

 

“You are not alone – You have rights – It is about the wishes of the people”

 

Attendees were reminded of the importance of unity of purpose and to quote Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations –

 

“Through unity of purpose, there is no limit to what we can achieve”

 

A call to action: NIPD sends out an invitation to all supporters to –

 

  • educate family and friends on our purpose and encourage them to register their support online at www.norfolkschoice.com;
  • share your thoughts on how we can drive a global media/social media campaign – remembering that from small beginnings great things can grow;
  • be innovative and create an awesome slogan, catch cry or #hashtag (20 letters or less).

 

So please, share your ideas, don’t be shy, all suggestions will receive respectful consideration – just send them to NIPD by email at pdsupport@ninet.nf or post us your ideas to Box 367 Norfolk Island 2899

 


Please 'contact us' for more information.

NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED NATIONS



National Vice President, United Nations Association of New Zealand, arrives Sunday 4 October

 

On Wednesday 7 October at 6:30pm at the Sirius Room, Paradise Hotel, NIPD will be hosting a community forum with Mr. Gary Russell JP, National Vice President United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) and Chair of the UNANZ Northern Branch. We warmly invite you to join us at an informal community gathering with Gary and to learn about the work of the United Nations around the world.

 

Congratulations

 

NIPD would like to congratulate the organizers and all those involved in the peaceful protest march 'Hand Up for Democracy' held on Sunday 27th September. With over 1200 hands collected the 'Hand Up for Democracy' initiative was a huge demonstration of unity against the Commonwealth takeover of Norfolk Island. The overwhelming support from the Norfolk Island community for initiatives such as 'Hands Up for Democracy' coupled with over 850 registered supporters of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy demonstrates a clear resolve by this Community that the fight for democracy is to continue.

 

 

Australia has a new Prime Minister

 

Given the unwillingness of the previous Australian Government leadership to discuss matters relating to the unfair and unjust removal of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, the NIPD has been heartened by the opportunity now presented with the change in leadership, and change in our Federal Minister, to have meaningful dialogue with Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Fletcher on restoring self-government in Norfolk Island and working in positive partnership with the Australian government to the overall benefit of all stakeholders.


Please 'contact us' for more information.

MARY CHRISTIAN BAILEY SUBMISSION TO THE AC


Norfolk Island is undergoing a huge transformation of its economic and social life as a result of the Norfolk Island Amendment Act 2015 recently passed in the Commonwealth Parliament. As a part of this transformation process the Commonwealth has appointed an unelected Norfolk Island Advisory Council (NIAC) to provide community input to this process. The NIAC held a public forum on Wednesday 30 September 2015 at the Sirius Room, Paradise Hotel, Norfolk Island, to provide community feedback on issues relating to the service delivery model that may be appropriate for a future Norfolk Island Regional Council (see NIAC Discussion Paper 2). Mary Christian-Bailey was one of the speakers at that forum.

Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) believe that the questions raised by Mary Christian-Bailey are of significant interest for all the Norfolk Island community, and is proud to assist in making Mary Christian-Bailey’s submission available to the community at large, as a public service.

**************** 

Mary Christian-Bailey Members of the Advisory Council, I am afraid I do not stand before you with concrete recommendations about service delivery and how it should be paid for. I do not have access to the information I need about the availability or the affordability of these things. It is a bit like asking us to comment on life on another planet!

But I would like to provide a bit of perspective to the issues of service delivery.

When the Pitcairners came to settle on small, remote Norfolk Island, having left Pitcairn, which was even smaller and more remote, I don't think any of them thought it would have been better to live closer to areas of greater population or facilities. They did not think of themselves as being "a long way" from anywhere. Because this island was their home, it was the centre of their world, and they just saw it as their responsibility to make the island a pleasant and productive place for the people who lived here. And those people chose to live here under those challenging conditions.

When I came here nearly 50 years ago, I was struck by the fact that the people of this island did not envy anyone else or compare themselves with anyone else. They lived modestly, for the most part, but were contented. But they were prepared to work hard to meet the needs of the people who lived here, and provide island solutions to island needs and problems.

I started to make a list of services this community has provided for its people over the years. Each day I found myself adding more, so I will no doubt omit several.

There are the philanthropic gifts and bequests, such as the Emily Channer District Nursing Service, the Tony Redstone Dental Clinic, the Cecil Barkman building at the school, the Eldon Foote Foundation scholarships, Queen Victoria's Garden, the Mawson Units.

Then we have institutions established by community groups, such as the Wives and Mother's Club and Banyan Park pre-school, the Volunteer Rescue Association, the Op Shop, Community Markets, NISEDU, NATIN, Daa Side F'Uklun, Hettai Uklun, the Sunshine Club, EcoNorfolk, Foodcare, CareNorfolk, the Friends of St Barnabas, the Youth Assembly.

There is the contribution from associations, churches, and service clubs, such as the Red Cross, with its telecross service, ST John's Ambulance, White Oaks, numerous projects funded by the Lions Club, Rotary and Quota, providing services and facilities at the school, the hospital and many other places. There is the A&H Society and the Flora & Fauna, Community Arts, Country Music, Baunti Byutis, all making a contribution to culture, tourism and the environment.

I think of those who volunteer through Meals on Wheels, the Hospital Auxiliary, Mental Health Awareness,the Bounty Day Committee, Police Charity Days, Government House sitters and guides.

There are industry and recreational associations such as the Fishing Club, Ballroom Dancing,the Primary Producers Association, The Chamber of Commerce,The Accommodation and Tourism Association, the Historical Society, and Sporting Groups who not only help our young people to a healthier lifestyle, but bring visitors for special events. And we will not forget those who pitch in and put on Benefits when people have health and financial difficulties.

And of course all those who serve on boards and committees, and those who regularly give sponsorship to events.

I have not even started on what has been provided by Norfolk Island Governments over the years, but I would like to focus on some key areas. Our Legislative Assembly, contrary to what has been said by some Commonwealth personnel, made enormous achievements in services and infrastructure in the years of self-government. The beautification of Burnt Pine, the Bicentennial Centre, tarsealing kms of road, upgrading of the airport, the Waste Management Centre, bringing the school up to Year 12, meeting the enormous challenges of modern communications and the Internet, meeting the needs of the Tourist Industry, and the hospital, which until recent years provided an enormous range of medical, surgical, specialist and diagnostic services, as well as caring for our elderly. And let us not forget our Government's efforts and financial input into restoration at Kingston, and the creation of a highly skilled Restoration Team, after successive Australian Administrators had sold much of the stone at Kingston and let many buildings fall into ruin.

So I would say Norfolk Islanders are the Service Delivery experts

Now any morning or weekend, if you drive around the island, you will often see Norfolk people out walking, carrying a bag to pick up rubbish. I have no doubt they will continue to do so, but you can't blame them for saying "I will not feel like bothering when we have to pay Municipal Rates." What I want to say is that the high level of volunteerism, island pride and self-reliance on this island is a cultural issue, and the decisions and choices you make will have just as much cultural impact as getting rid of free burials or abolishing Bounty Day.

The minutes of the Council's first public meeting read:Mr Beadman asked Ms Adams, in drawing on her expertise and experience in Government, by what measure should success for a Regional Council be defined? It was a good question and I would like to respond to it with more questions. 20 questions, in fact. These are matters that members of the Advisory Council needs to consider in its deliberations on the issue of service delivery. Call them yardsticks, or a checklist – but please understand these are very real concerns that weigh heavily on the hearts of many Norfolk Island people.

1. Will the promised future service delivery be an improvement on what we are experiencing this year under Commonwealth management, where roads are in an appalling state, where promises and commitments are being reneged on, where services are dropping rather than increasing, where there are no answers to questions or requests, and where no one seems to know what is going on?

2. Will the NIAC guarantee that future service delivery will not cost more than we receive in revenue, putting us in the same debt situation that made the Commonwealth say it was necessary to abolish our government?


3. Will local people be employed and local businesses be given preference when awarding contracts? Or will "local" no longer mean anything when we are just another part of regional Australia? 

4. Are you satisfied that voluntary and not for profit enterprises and activities that currently serve the needs of this island and its people will not be negatively affected by red tape, increased regulation, liability and insurance issues and compliance costs? 

5. Will those engaged to deliver services be prepared – or required - to avail themselves of all the expertise that has been developed in this island over many years in both government and private sector level? Are locals being trained for the new positions? Or will they continue to be sacked, as has just happened to our Tourist Board and Tourism Manager? 

6. Can you find service delivery systems that are prepared to work in partnership with local initiatives, such as Care Norfolk, the BreastScreen Trust, Banyan Park? 

7. Will decisions about what is needed be determined by our needs as a small remote Pacific Island which has developed separately from Australia, and not by measuring us against some so called comparable Australian community (which doesn't exist)? 

8. Will there be an observable improvement in the level of health services when compared with what we currently receive, or will we face a lessening in the services we receive, as has happened with our hospital in recent years? 

9. Can you reassure us that, in the name of efficiency, we will not have to travel to the mainland to avail ourselves of services that are currently available on the island? Will our elderly be forced to die away from here? Will we have to travel away for an increasing range of medical services? 

10. Will commercial services such as an optometrist still be able to operate in a high tax and regulatory environment ? If you cannot answer these last two question with a YES, then the term "access to services enjoyed by other Australians" becomes a joke. 

11. Will the tax accountants get very rich over the next few months as we turn to them for the answers that no one else seems to be able to give us? 

12. Have you considered the cultural impacts of overlaying a new system of service delivery on one that has developed separately to meet the needs of Norfolk Island over many generations? 

13. Will locals continue to have a real say in managing infrastructure and services in those areas in of which they have a very real ownership, and have contributed to financially and with work and skills over the years -such as the Kingston and KAVHA area, the hospital, the school? 

14. Can you offer some certainty and reassurance to those presently delivering services in areas like child care, preschool education, aged care, tourism and many other areas? I refer to those in private enterprise and in the public and not for profit sector who are currently in limbo, and hoping against hope that they will survive the new regulatory environment and the costs involved with taxation and compliance. They do not know what funding will be available, where that is applicable. July 1st is rushing on us, and they have so little information, no one can answer their questions, they are unable to carry out any forward planning. The same problems are being experienced by business and the tourist industry. Can you give some hope to those who are just hanging in there?

15. Will your plans to raise revenues through rates bring about an end to that part of Norfolk's culture whereby we hold our land in trust for our children because it is the only thing left that enables them to call Norfolk Island home? 

16. Will you put at risk the spirit of self-reliance, resourcefulness and island pride that has sustained this community for decades? Will Norfolk people feel frustrated because they cannot fix things and get things done as soon as it is needed, as has happened in the past? 

17. When we have questions, comments, suggestions or complaints about service delivery, will there be a real person at the end of the line to listen to us, or will we have to negotiate layers and levels of bureaucracy? 

18. Is it cost-effective to replace one level of government providing for all the needs of the community with three separate levels of government, operating from three different places, with all the inefficiencies, duplications and communication problems involved? 

19. Will the regional council model be sustainable? I note in your Discussion Paper 2 the following: “...it is not uncommon for local government entities to operate at a loss" and also "the ongoing objective of a Regional Council should be to serve the community in a sustainable way..." But it also says that some services may be provided at a loss. What happens if it proves unaffordable? 

20. We are entering unknown territory. We are told our governance model will not be based on the Indian Ocean Territories model. What if the system of service delivery that is decided on doesn't work? Who will take the blame? Who will pick up the pieces? 

These are serious questions. They are on our hearts and minds, and they should be on yours too. I suspect that you will find it difficult to deal with some of them, if you are honest. Will you tell your Commonwealth superiors that their plans raise far more problems than they think they are solving?

Please 'contact us' for more information.

NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY


Norfolk Island People for Democracy Association (NIPD) proudly supports and will be part of ‘Hands Up for Democracy’ this Sunday. The peaceful protest will leave the Hospital at 1:30 pm and make its way to the ‘Hands Up Garden’ at 'Yes' headquarters, next door to Foodland.


This is an afternoon to unite and demonstrate the Commonwealth takeover of Norfolk Island is simply unacceptable to anyone who values human rights and dignity.  Democracy is a key tenet of Western civilisation and must never be taken for granted, nor abolished.  As Nelson Mandela said-


"Since my release, I have become more convinced than ever that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women of our country; their participation in every decision about the future is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom." NIPD thanks and congratulates those community members who have put so much effort into this inspiring display.

An Open Invitation

On Wednesday 7 October at 6:30pm at the Sirius Room, Paradise Hotel, NIPD will be hosting a community forum with Mr Gary Russell JP, National Vice President United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) and co-chair of the UNANZ Northern Branch.


Gary’s involvement in the Peace movement started in the Fiji coup of 1987 and the assistance of the United Nations office at the time helped stabilise the situation. He then went on to the EU Interreg IIC cultural integration programme researching the commonality of European cultures, to identify mutual peaceful interests between EU countries, and to build up trust and positive links across borders. He was on the Baltic Tourism Commission safety and security panel and with the collapse of the Soviet Union continued his work on social & cultural capital asset impact assessments.


Gary was previously on the Board of the International Travel & Tourism Educators Association and he organised international tourism conferences. He holds a Professional Convention Management Planning Certificate having run seminars with British Airways, Sheraton Hotel chain and other industry groups while a member of the Royal Tourism Society (UK).   Subsequently, he was on the Auckland board of PATA and a member of NZTTA. Over the past years he has been seeking actions for Peace that has taken him to different roles in conflict regions, and his faith as a Quaker gives him the drive and the will to fulfil a mission for a peaceful world.


We warmly invite you to come and meet Gary and join us in informal community discussion.


Please 'contact us' for more information.

NORFOLK ISLAND HERITAGE SUBMISSION


Dear Sir,


For general information attached is the list of 25 submissions with relevant Acts and  attachments stating Norfolk Island’s Unique Heritage that was forwarded to Melissa Ward, Chair, Norfolk Island Advisory Council. Receipts of the submissions have all been acknowledged by the Chair, and  all of which the Council of Elders unanimously supports the submissions put forth as supplementary information to our initial submission to Assistant Minister Briggs.


I have today also received the following assurances on Norfolk Island’s cultural practices from the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development;


“The cultural practices outlined in your attachment will not be impacted by the economic and governance reform process that is currently underway and I assure you that the same legal protections for Norfolk Island’s heritage places will continue to apply.”


“Further, as expressed by the Hon Gary Hargrave, Norfolk Island Administrator, earlier this year, broader cultural practices across the island relating to public holidays, craft, fishing and language will continue to remain in place. These cultural practices are central to the long term sustainability of the island’s rich cultural history.”


Copies were also sent to the Hon. Gary Hargrave, Administrator Norfolk Island and Peter Gesling, Executive Director, Administration of Norfolk Island.


The genesis/ origin of Norfolk Island’s unique heritage, many commencing in the 1790s will now be added and once completed will be published.


Albert F. Buffett

Chair – Norfolk Island Council of Elders.


Norfolk Island Heritage submissions.


Aged Care - facilities


Arts – Grants eligibility & Churchill Scholarship


Cattle    + references- Cattle on Norfolk Island – our heritage & Traditions.


Child  Welfare & Protection


Conservation of Norfolk Heritage Land & Sea + MOU Norfolk Island Fisheries Management Policy 2009


Cultural  Anthropology & Sociology - Reciprocity


Cultural Activity – whale bird egg collection


Environment


Fishing   +references -Norfolk Island Marine Safety Act 2013


Free Burials includes NI Administration Policy Guideline –CMG Circular Number 2.1


Heritage


Heritage - Norfolk Island Moveable Heritage Objects + references - Norfolk Island Museum Trust Act 1987 +

                   References - Norfolk Island Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act 1987, Norfolk Island Heritage Act

    2002, Norfolk Island Cultural Strategic Plan   2014-2018


Immigration


Land                     + references - Absentee Landowners Levy Act 1976, Conveyancing Act 1913, Crown Land Act 1996,    

 Titles act 1996, Community Tile Act 2015


Language            + reference -Norfolk Island Language (Norf’k) Act 2004


Law


Local Knowledge & Skills – Lighterage


Norfolk Flag


Norfolk Island Planning Act +reference - Planning Act 2002, Planning Regulations 2004


Norfolk Island Postage Stamps    +reference - Postal Services Act 1983, Postal Services Amendment Act 1994


Pacific & Commonwealth Games


Tourism


Volunteers


Youth Advisory Council


Youth Assembly -Traffic Act – Motor bike



The Norfolk Island Exclusive Economic Zone (NIEEZ) is the area of water that extends 200 Nautical miles from the coast of Norfolk Island, in every direction, and includes all of the resources in & under it. The Norfolk Island EEZ is more than 4 times larger than Tasmania, 3 times larger than the North Island of New Zealand and almost twice as large as Victoria. The Norfolk Island EEZ has the potential to generate substantial wealth for the Norfolk Island Community; wealth that could and should be used to support a business case for a sustainable future for the Norfolk Island Community. This model has been proven to work extremely well in the Falklands to the financial benefit of both Britain and the Falkland Island People.

It is of interest to read the speech of the Hon. Bob Ellicott QC in the Federal Parliament on 5 April 1979:

 “Again, fishing off Norfolk Island is of some significance, but its pursuit does entail international obligations which, as Honourable members will recall, are negotiated under the Law of the Sea Conventions.  They are matters that must be negotiated by the Australian Government but, basically, the fishing around Norfolk Island will be conducted, one hopes, for the benefit of the people of the Island.  I repeat, there must always be, as a matter of policy, some acknowledgement of the fact that the conducting of that fishing must fit in with the overall policy upon which the Australian Government, as the international representative, has agreed with other countries.” (Hansard (Cth) 5th April, 1979 - Page 1644)

A Special General Meeting is to be held in mid November to formally incorporate the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) and to have free and fair elections for the NIPD management committee. The NIPD recommend those who support the goal of having Norfolk Island Listed by the United Nations as a non self-governing territory and restoring democracy in Norfolk Island to register by email at pdsupport@ninet.nf or go to www.norfolkschoice.com. Supporters can expect more details relating to the incorporation of the Association over the coming weeks.

Yes       It's Norfolk's Choice


Please 'contact us' for more information.

UPDATE



Did you know?

In 1975, the Falkland Islands economy was in serious decline and in 1982, following an economic survey undertaken by Lord Shackleton at the request of the British Foreign Secretary; it was recommended that Her Majesty's Government (HMG) should:

 Set up a development agency;
 Transfer farm ownership to local owner-occupiers;
 Develop in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, infrastructure;
 Change government structure to provide local impetus to change;
 Allocate development funds amounting to £35m.

Since 1986 the Fishing industry currently contributes between 50 and 60% of total GDP annually and the Falkland Islands Government reserves currently stand at c.£200m (AUD 408 million). Today the Gross Domestic Product which is currently about £100m annually enables the Islands to be economically self-sufficient in all areas but defense.

The Falkland Islands in March 2013 held a referendum to determine their political status and the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, the overwhelming result being that 99.8% voted to remain a British Territory.

Self-determination is a fundamental human right under the Charter of the United Nations. We will ensure our islands determine their own future and will actively promote to the rest of the world the clear message that was delivered in the 2013 referendum – the people of the Falkland Islands wish to remain a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.

‘The Islands Plan 2014-2018’ Falkland Island Government - July 2014

http://www.falklands.gov.fk/assets/The-Islands-Plan-2014-2018-Compressed.pdf

Support for ‘Norfolk Island People for Democracy’ is continuing to grow with just under 700 supporters now registered. NIPD has appointed an independent auditor to ensure the absolute privacy of all supporters on the NIPD register. It is vitally important that our list of supporters includes all those who support our action plan regardless of whether they are living on Norfolk Island or not. With this in mind we ask each and every one of you to share our action plan and encourage others, including your own partners, friends and family, wherever they may be, to register their support now – by email at pdsupport@ninet.nf or go to www.norfolkschoice.com where it takes less than a minute to register.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NIPD


Did you know?

That in February 1978 a report titled “Norfolk Island, Australia & the U.N.” was compiled for the Federal United Nations Association of Australia (the U.N.A.A.) by John Bulbeck, the then U.N.A.A. Hon. Federal Media Officer, who visited Norfolk Island from 16 to 27 January 1978 to make inquiries on behalf of the Federal Executive of the United National Association of Australia.  Mr Bulbeck draws a number of conclusions in his 1978 report (the “Bulbeck Report”) which include the following:

  • “Norfolk Island is at present quite clearly a non-self-governing colony of Australia. No challenge to that reality on moral, legal, political or sociological grounds is sustainable.
  • “Australia has no justification for continuing to claim that Norfolk Island is part of metropolitan Australia and therefore not subject to Australia’s obligations to the United Nations about non-self-governing territories
  • “Australia has firmly committed itself to the internationally recognized principle of self-determination. Australia practices this through its own constitution. It is clearly inconsistent for the Federal Government to continue to refuse this right of the people of Norfolk Island.”

Twelve months after the release of the Bulbeck Report a limited form of self-government was granted to Norfolk Island by Australia in 1979.

Thirty six years later, in 2015, that limited form of self-government for Norfolk Island was removed by Australia.

With the removal of self-government in 2015, the 1978 conclusions drawn in the Bulbeck Report are as valid today as they were in 1978.

You are invited to register as a supporter of Norfolk Island People for Democracy on www.norfolkschoice.com, at Pawpaw’s Pump Shed, at Daniels Butchery or in the Foodland Mall

Please 'contact us' for more information.

NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY


“Norfolk Island is taking its argument for self-governance to the UN after the Australian government replaced the island territory's parliament with its own administrator this year.” (Channel 7 ‘Sunday Night Show’ 26 July 2015  

https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/29053437/norfolk-island-this-isnt-australia/

The Norfolk Island People for Democracy are committed to achieving listing for Norfolk Island on the United Nations' List of 'non self-governing territories'.

Norfolk Island is renowned for its friendly and welcoming character that encourages people to visit Norfolk Island time and again.


The Norfolk Island people retain very strong community values. The culture, traditions, genuine friendships and importance of family are values shared by those on Norfolk Island who wish to help transition our islands current governance arrangements towards a new and appropriate democratic governance model for Norfolk Island based on and guided by a spirit of partnership, cooperation, shared values, respect for human rights and respect for the principles of the United Nations.

It is the choice of the Norfolk Island people to determine what they wish their future to be through an act of Self Determination sponsored by the United Nations.

Why should you register your support?


“All peoples have the right to self-determination and by virtue of that right can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”.  - United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514


The Norfolk Island People for Democracy encourage supporters of this initiative to register at www.norfolkschoice.com or via email at pdsupport@ninet.nf  

Please 'contact us' for more information.

NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY MEETING



After a well-attended meeting at the Parish Centre on 8 July 2015 and much positive feedback, the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD) remain committed to achieving listing for Norfolk Island on the United Nations' List of 'non self-governing territories'.

 

Once Norfolk Island is inscribed and listed as a 'non self-governing territory’, the United Nations will educate the community on our rights at law and allow all Norfolk Islanders to decide what sort of a future we want through a United Nations supervised referendum.

 

This process, commonly referred to as an act of self-determination, is the same process the United Nations conducted in the Cocos-Keeling Islands in 1984. This United Nations sponsored referendum will give the Norfolk Island People the following options:

 

  • Self-Government in Free Association
  • Independence; or
  • Integration

“NIPD supports self-government in free association with Australia.

NIPD does not support independence. NIPD does not support integration with Australia.

However, we recognize that self-determination means that the Norfolk Island People have the democratic right to choose which option they wish to pursue.”

Self-government in free association with Australia means a mutually beneficial partnership; based on trust, cooperation and equity.

 

VOLUNTEERS -

We understand that there are many in the community who has offered to assist NIPD. Currently we’re looking for those with experience or an interest in communications/media or public relations who could offer NIPD their assistance at this time. Please contact either Brett on 22210 or Chelsea on 50432 or by email at info@norfolkschoice.com Thank you for your support. To register your support visit www.norfolkschoice.com


THEIR FUTURE - THEIR VOICE ... by A.B and ME

With respect for, and apologies to, Banjo Patterson and

The Man from Snowy River

         

          There was movement on the island, for the word had passed around,

That the NIPD group was underway,

And was now like NAGS and others – peddling hard to make some ground,

So all the hacks had gathered for the fray.

Some failed, some feisty followers from homesteads near and far,

Had gathered at headquarters overnight,

For these ‘bushed’ folk love fringe politics, where the mad ideas are,

They sat and sniffed the battle with delight.


There was Sanderson, who forged his ties while elsewhere growing up,

And Buffett, with his hair as white as snow;

(Though few could stand beside him when his blood was fairly up,

He would go wherever he could be on show.)

The Nobbs’, the Geoffs and others came along to lend a hand,

No better leaders ever held the reins.

(Sadly.)


For never were there others who might have saved this land,

They learned to lead whilst sitting on jet planes.

(Clutching their diplomatic passports.)


          The subject they debated was OUR future and OUR choice,

With an invite to consider some ways that WE could go,

But THEY had already chosen what should become OUR voice,

So was it really all put on for show?


THEY spoke of Free Association but THEY would write the rules,

With some slick and easy rhetoric in mind,

Perhaps they thought that we were just a bunch of simple fools,

            It’s fantasy, the cheap and mindless kind.


It brings to mind another place at present in the poo,

The Greeks, who wave their flags and vote to choose,

They give not much but want the lot, their cake and eat it too,

While Europe, it still has a lot to lose.


NIPD won’t pay the price so some can have it all,

           Self-righteous braying forms their chosen stance,

           But those of us, who like ‘the map,’ will make a simpler call,

           Like Varoufakis, ‘on your bike,’ give reform a chance.


Please 'contact us' for more information.