8 Mar 2010

Pitcairn's new constitution proclaimed by Governor

4:12 pm on 8 March 2010

The Governor of Pitcairn, George Ferguson, last week proclaimed the island's new Constitution at a public meeting.

The Governor, who is also the British High Commissioner to New Zealand, read out the proclamation in Pitcairn's packed Town Square.

In a statement the British High Commission says consultations on the new document had involved virtually all members of the community of 53 over the past six months.

It says human rights training from the Commonwealth Foundation helped with discussions on what rights and freedoms should be included.

There were also videoconference links with the island, the Governor's Office in Wellington and officials in London.

The High Commission says the document provides Pitcairn with a constitution better suited to modern-day life and international obligations than its predecessor, the Pitcairn Order of 1970.

It provides for an Ombudsman, creates the role and assures the independence of the Attorney General, and includes an obligation for the Island Council to be consulted on all draft legislation.