The special relationship between Norfolk Island and Norfolk Islanders of Pitcairn descent and their desire to maintain their traditions and culture is acknowledged by the Australian Government.  Norfolk Island is a self governed external Territory of Australia. (Norfolk Island an Australian Territory  - under section 122 of the Australian National Constitution – 1914).

The Norfolk Island Act 1979 provides for:

  • An Administrator to act as the nominal head of the Norfolk Island Government;
  • A Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly able to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Territory including laws to raise taxes and impose charges;
  • An Executive Council or Ministry drawn from the Legislative Assembly and appointed by the Administrator on the recommendation of the Assembly;
  • The Administrator to act on ministerial advice;
  • The Norfolk Island Supreme Court and Norfolk Island's system of laws; and
  • Norfolk Island public service.

This means that the Assembly can enact laws on virtually any topic that it chooses, including on matters that are the preserve of the Federal Government elsewhere (such as customs and immigration). Once the Assembly enacts a law, the Norfolk Island Government is equipped with broad executive powers and responsibilities to administer and enforce that law. /

The Norfolk Island Government is also primarily responsible for the delivery of government services on the Island.
Norfolk Island's self-governing status is similar to that of Australia's mainland Territories - the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT). The major difference is that the Norfolk Island Government and Legislative Assembly have greater legislative and executive powers and responsibilities - such as in respect of immigration, customs and quarantine.

Interestingly,  the Government ‘sits’ in one of the beautiful Georgian buildings of Quality Row in Kingston and the members can be heard regularly when broadcast over the local radio station.  The life of one of our Government officials is not always as glamorous as those of their mainland counterparts, there is no getting away from the constituents!


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