Norfolk Island couple angry at administration's use of historic houses

A Norfolk Island couple are protesting the way the Canberra appointed administration is handling historic houses on the island.

They have moved into one of the World Heritage Zone houses, which the descendants of Pitcairn Island say were gifted to them by Queen Victoria in 1856.

Leah Honeywood and Damian Finch say the administrator has tried to house his staff in the houses.

Their occupation has led to several unsuccessful police attempts to remove them.

The couple say they are infuriated by the continued erosion of the rights of Norfolk Islanders since Canberra took direct control of the island six years ago.

They say they won't back down.

"Doing what we can to bring back some democracy in Norfolk Island. And protecting our history and culture and heritage. These were our houses in 1856 and at no point, even to today have we been asked how to utilise them."

The Australian administration on the island has been at loggerheads with a significant segment of the Norfolk population ever since Canberra removed the island's limited autonomy in 2016.

*Published by Radio New Zealand - 26 January 2022