Hague keeps hands on Pitcairn

William Hague, left, and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee

Britain intends to keep its hands on its strategic Pacific island, Pitcairn.

NBR ONLINE asked British foreign secretary William Hague how long Britain intended to keep Pitcairn within its empire and when it would hand over control to New Zealand.

He replied that there were no plans to change the governance of Pitcairn Island – a hot potato for a succession of British governments.

But he said Britain was very thankful for New Zealand “giving us a helping hand” over administering the island.

Mr Hague made the comments when he visited Christchurch today to help launch the 2013 Great British Car Rally taking place across New Zealand from Sunday, January 17, to Friday, January 22.

Later, an accompanying official jested that on a population basis, Pitcairn Islanders probably received more assistance than most of Britain’s territories.

Pitcairn, adminsitered through Auckland, is possibly best known for a sex abuse scandal revealed in 2005, involving descendants of the mutinuous Bounty crew who sailed to the island in 1790.

Lengthy court proceedings both in New Zealand and on Pitcairn involved a host of New Zealand lawyers and judges was paid for by the British.

(More than ten years ago an ambitious plan by ex-barrister and district court judge Tony Willy and his business pals, to turn Pitcairn into an isolated holiday hideaway, complete with hotel and air strip, sank in the face of islander opposition.)

During his visit to the earthquake-ravaged city, Mr Hague sat in a Javelin Jowett, admired MG cars and joked with their owners.

Mayor Bob Parker and wife Joanna Nicholls Parker were on hand, along with an entourage of owners of British-made cars, in front of the Christchurch Art Galley Te Puna O Waiwhetu.

Other local journalists asked if Britain would contribute to the estimated $30 billion rebuild of Christchurch.

Mr Hague was vague but spoke generally about the expertise of UK firms which might be involved.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Post Comment

5 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

What happens to Pitcairn if it has a population of fewer than 50?

Reply
Share

How about using it as a penal colony for NZ?

Reply
Share

More gutlessness from the NZ government.
How about talking about the reduction in UK working holiday visas from 24 months to 12?
How about talking about transferring UK National Insurance funds more swiftly?

Reply
Share

Pitcairn 'strategic' - hardly.

Reply
Share

My thoughts exactly. Strategic to whom, and how?

Reply
Share

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7733 -0.0013 -0.17%
AUD 0.9501 -0.0003 -0.03%
EUR 0.6313 -0.0023 -0.36%
GBP 0.4955 -0.0002 -0.04%
HKD 5.9975 -0.0098 -0.16%
JPY 92.7030 0.1190 0.13%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 1.580 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.910 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.096 2014-12-19T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5527.8 5553.7 5527.8 0.25%
NASDAQ 4759.0 4779.2 4765.4 0.20%
DAX 9827.3 9924.0 9787.0 0.81%
DJI 17812.2 17911.6 17804.8 0.49%
FTSE 6545.3 6620.9 6545.3 0.48%
HKSE 23264.0 23478.9 23116.6 1.26%
NI225 17685.5 17692.6 17621.4 0.08%