Today, Norfolk Island becomes a regional council under New South Wales, losing its sovereignty and self-governing rights to the Australian Government. From now on, most Australian Commonwealth laws will extend to Norfolk Island and any New Zealander living there will need a visa to stay.
Today, Norfolk Island was absorbed against its will into the Australian Commonwealth.
Former Norfork Minister Andre Nobbs says, “"There are a lot of flags on the side of the roads and in peoples' houses and front yards and in front of shops at half-mast and upside down which is the international sign for distress."
For nearly a month, the former Minister and the Chairman of the Elder Council have been rallying overseas support to put a stop to the takeover.
Nobbs says, "We had unanimous support. I just couldn't be more disgusted with a government in my life other than the way they have mistreated and made the change management so abrasive to the people of Norfolk no matter what nationality they are. There's been no direct communication with NZ citizens such as my wife to say here's what you need to do or here's what we've done to enable you to stay on the island."
The Norfolk Parliament was dissolved by the Australian Government last year. Since April, locals have occupied the grounds protesting in tents, rain, hail or shine.
"Make no mistake we are not finished by a long way we will fight this with our last drop of blood," says Nobbs.
Although Norfolk Island has already lodged a petition with the United Nations, it is still unclear when, if or how, they can reclaim their rights as a self-governing people moving forward.