Norfolk Islanders want to ditch Australia for New Zealand - survey

Despite being closer to New Zealand, Norfolk Island is governed by Australia.
Despite being closer to New Zealand, Norfolk Island is governed by Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

The results of a survey of Norfolk Island residents has revealed that almost its entire population no longer want to be governed by Australia, and a third would rather be governed by New Zealand.

The tiny island is considered a part of New South Wales, as both were founded as settlements within weeks of each other. Despite this, the island is actually much closer to New Zealand.

The results of the survey showed 37 percent of respondents wanted a 'free association' relationship with New Zealand. This would mean the locals would assume responsibility for all domestic affairs, but rely on New Zealand when it comes to defence and foreign policy.

Just 35 percent wanted a similar agreement with Australia, and a tiny 3 percent wanted a full integration with Australia.

A further 25 percent wanted complete independence.

Norfolk Island People for Democracy, who commissioned the survey, received a mixture of feedback from local residents.

"Free Association with Australia is probably the most practical choice, but they would need to take a few tips from New Zealand about showing respect for the rights, culture and values of the indigenous people of Norfolk Island," one respondent said.

"Changing over to NZ would involve a change in our whole economic strategy and currency. Unfortunately, we are looking at decades of rebuilding thanks to the Australian government," said another.

Norfolk Island is home to just over 2,000 people, and is just over twice the size of Rangitoto Island.