Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden protect over 655 hectares of the remote Territory of Norfolk Island. Set in the south-west Pacific Ocean, the Territory provides a link between tropical and temperate oceanic island environments and is home to unique assemblages of flora and fauna.
The park and garden provide habitat and breeding areas for endemic species, migratory birds and large colonies of breeding seabirds. They protect remnant areas of subtropical rainforest and viney hardwood forest which once covered much of the Island.
Management of the National Park and Botanic Garden has a strong focus on the protection of existing native flora and fauna and habitat restoration through the control of invasive species, planting of native vegetation and implementation of erosion control measures.
The National Park and Botanic Garden provide educational, scientific, cultural and recreational opportunities for Norfolk Island residents and visitors and a valuable resource for the Norfolk Island tourism industry.
The Management Plan for the Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden has been prepared under provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and meets all the statutory requirements for a management plan under that Act.
The Mount Pitt Section of the Park and the Botanic Garden were first established by the Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Act 1984 (NI) when it came into force on 12 February 1985. These areas were subsequently declared a national park and botanic garden under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 (Cwlth) by proclamation under that Act on 31 January 1986 following a request of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly. The Phillip Island Section of the Park was proclaimed under the Commonwealth Act on 24 January 1996.
In July 2000 the (Commonwealth) Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) came into force and replaced a number of Acts relevant to the management
of the Park and Garden including the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975. Since 16 July 2000, the Park and the Botanic Garden have been managed under the EPBC Act.
The Norfolk Island National Park Advisory Committee was established to advise the Norfolk Island Government and the Director of National Parks on the effective implementation of the Plans of Management and on other matters relevant to the park. Members to the committee are appointed by the Administrator on the advice of the Director of National Parks and the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.
The membership of the Committee is reviewed triennially and comprises:
- two representatives of Norfolk Island conservation organisations;
- two representatives of the Norfolk Island tourism industry;
- the Conservator of Public Reserves;
- two representatives of the Norfolk Island community (one with interests in Phillip Island); and
- the Director of National Parks
The Chairman is elected by the committee and the park Superintendent acts as Secretary to the Committee. The relevant Norfolk Island Government Minister or his representative may attend Committee meetings as an observer.
The functions of the Committee are to:
- facilitate the development, implementation and revision of plans of management for the Norfolk Island Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden;
- monitor the management of the Norfolk Island Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden;
- identify and recommend conservation priorities within the Norfolk Island Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden;
- make recommendations on work programs required to implement the plans of management;
- recommend studies as appropriate, to assist the management of the Norfolk Island Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden; and
- provide a forum for members of the Norfolk Island community to raise issues relevant to the management of the Norfolk Island Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden.
The Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly enacted the (Norfolk Island) Public Reserves Act 1997 early in 1997, and the Administrator appointed a Conservator of Public Reserves on 21 July 1997, under Section 18 of that Act. The public reserves are under the care and control of the Administrator. The Conservator is responsible for the management of public reserves other than the park and Botanic Garden in accordance with the plan of management for each public reserve.
Norfolk Island's principal planning tool is the Norfolk Island Plan. The mission statement of the Plan is to ensure that the planning process promotes ecological sustainability and identifies the natural and cultural values of the Island.
The objectives Norfolk Island National Park and the Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Management Plans complement those of the Norfolk Island Plan. The Conservator of Public Reserves is the senior officer of the Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service (NIPFS), which implements plans of management for public reserves; undertakes forestry operations in the Forestry Zone of the park and in other public reserves; and is responsible for noxious weed control, stock inspection on public lands, and Crown lease inspections.
The NIPFS also coordinates policy and develops management programs related to all other conservation issues. The Conservator advises the Administrator and the Norfolk Island Minister with portfolio responsibilities for the park and public reserves on matters relating to public reserves, environmental assessment, wildlife management, conservation, and heritage issues on and around Norfolk Island. The Conservator is a member of the Norfolk Island National Park Advisory Committee.