Repopulation Government of the Pitcairn Islands

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Frequently Asked Questions

Pitcairn is one of the most isolated Islands in the world. When you travel on board the Pitcairn Government's vessel, 'MV Claymore II', you will be at sea for at least two nights before arriving at Pitcairn Island. There is no airport on the Island, The Claymore II visits the island on 4 rotations a year.
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General Information

What is the population of Pitcairn?

There are currently about 43 Islanders and 10 overseas professionals living on Pitcairn. In addition there are currently 4 children away at school and some other residents off Island.

What is the Climate Like?

Pitcairn's average summer temperature ranges from 20-30 degrees centigrade. In winter it can drop as low as 17 degrees centigrade. The humidity ranges from 60-100% all year round. Winter temperatures can be felt from May to October. Roads and walkways can become very muddy and slippery after heavy rain and the island can become tinder dry and very dusty during dry periods.

What religions are practiced on Pitcairn?

A successful Seventh-day Adventist mission was established in the 1890s. In recent years, church attendance has declined but most Pitcairners still attend church on special occasions and visitors are always welcome.
The Sabbath School meets at 10.00am on Saturday mornings and is followed by the main service (Divine Service) an hour later. The Sabbath (Saturday) is observed as the day of rest by most Islanders.

All faiths are welcome on Pitcairn.

Can I get Married on Pitcairn?

Yes, it is possible to marry on Pitcairn as long as one of the parties has been resident on Pitcairn for at least Fifteen days preceding the granting of the marriage certificate. Same sex couples are also welcome on Pitcairn and can legally marry.

I have a disability, can I still move to Pitcairn?

The Government of Pitcairn Island Council does not discriminate on the grounds of disability. However, you should be aware of several factors that may influence your views about the desirability of Pitcairn as a place to live, with regard to access and services.  The  terrain on Pitcairn is rough, with very steep hills,  a lot of dirt tracks and few paved roads. Transport is generally either on foot or by quad bike. It is recommended you discuss your particular requirement with our resident Doctor before applying for settlement.

Do I have to visit Pitcairn before applying for settlement?

No, you can apply for settlement at any time. However it would be wise to consider visiting before you decide to apply for settlement.

Can I bring my children to settle on Pitcairn?

Yes, if you wish to bring your children you will need to contact the Deputy Governor's Office in New Zealand. Pitcairn is among the leaders of the United Kingdoms Overseas Territories in terms of child safety. A child well-being charter is in force on the Island. The safety of Pitcairn’s children is paramount.

Is there a school on Pitcairn?

Yes, Pulau School provides pre-school and primary education for resident children
Teachers are appointed on 1 year renewable basis. The New Zealand curriculum is taught.
Cyber safety policies are also part of the curriculum. Higher Education from 13 years is usually completed at boarding school in New Zealand.

If I move to Pitcairn am I entitled to a British Passport?

No.

How will my possessions get to Pitcairn?

The Claymore II, Pitcairn's supply ship takes freight to Pitcairn every three months. To arrange for your items to go with Pitcairn's regular supplies, contact admin@pitcairn.gov.pn. They can discuss logistics and also put you in touch with Shuttle Express Ltd Pitcairn’s Auckland based freight forwarder who can help with your enquiries.

How do people travel to/from Pitcairn?

The Government of Pitcairn Islands charters a passenger/shipping vessel, to carry supplies and passengers to the island every 3 months. To view the Passenger Travel Terms & Conditions go to www.pitcairn.pn or contact tourism@pitcairn.gov.pn.

Are there shops on Pitcairn?

There is a Government Treasury, Post Office and a General Store/ Warehouse on the island. All are open three times a week.The General Store stocks a range of foodstuffs household and general goods. Specific orders for food and general items from New Zealand are placed through the store on a quarterly basis. The warehouse sells construction materials, electrical hardware and things of this nature.

Is there Internet/phone/television on Pitcairn?

All houses on island are connected to the Internet and wi-fi is possible. Owing to limitations of the system there is a tiered charging structure to discourage large up/downloads. The Government of Pitcairn Island ensures maintenance of the system.
All houses on island are connected to an international phone system and have New Zealand phone numbers. There are also two satellite phones on the island for emergencies –
There are no mobile phone networks on island but it is possible to receive and send text messages if you register before leaving your country of origin.

Pitcairn currently receives the Australian Channel which is a news/current affairs and sports channel with a number of Australian series.
There is also the Hope Channel broadcast by the SDA Church. The possible provision of further channels is under review.

What infrastructure is in place on Pitcairn?

There is a health clinic and pharmacy on the island staffed by a Doctor on a 12 month contract and a resident Enrolled Nurse. Both are available on call at all times.
The Doctor is contracted from New Zealand, Australia or the UK and rotates on an annual basis. Serious incidents or illness may require medical treatment in Tahiti or New Zealand.

Initially ALL immigrants need to have travel insurance including medical evacuation cover when they settle. Once they become permanent residents they are entitled to the same subsidies as other local residents.
The name of your insurer together with the policy number must be provided prior to travel.

There is a Community Police Officer, usually from New Zealand based on the island, supported by a local Island Police Officer.

Do I need a visa to visit Pitcairn?

You do not have to apply for a visitor visa if you intend to stay for less than 14 days. If you wish to stay longer you will need to apply for a long term visitor visa (valid for up to 6 months) or a business visa. Applications can be downloaded from the Government website www.pitcairn.gov.pn and submitted to the Pitcairn Islands office in New Zealand.

How do I apply to settle on Pitcairn?

You should complete a Settlement Application form and submit it electronically to the Pitcairn Immigration Officer or the Pitcairn Island Office in New Zealand.

What is the plan for the future of Pitcairn?

The UK Government is committed to supporting Pitcairn's development towards a sustainable future., attracting new immigrants is key to building Pitcairn’s future.

Do I have to have a sponsor?

No.

Finances

How much does it cost to live on Pitcairn?

Figures based on average current spending per couple are as per the table below.

UTILITY

Electricity
Telecom
Store (food, beverage, hardware)
Medical Supplies
Freight
Total:

MEAN EXP Per Annum

$2539.25
$1215.58
$4500
$275.24
$933.93
$9464.00

What is the average income on Pitcairn?

It is difficult to estimate the average total income as there is no taxation and thus official records of private incomes. The average Government income is NZ$6000 per annum.
Most community members supplement their government income by selling curios and souvenirs to visiting cruise ships and other visitors. Souvenirs range from wood carvings and handmade Jewelry to t shirts, caps and general Pitcairn memorabilia. Profits from this source might average from between US$ 6000 to US$10,000 per household. Its also an exciting and rewarding part of Pitcairn life.

How much money do I need to have to move to Pitcairn?

As per the immigration policy anyone wishing to settle on Pitcairn must have evidence of savings or assets of at least NZ$30,000.

What sort of evidence of funds will I need to provide?

Normally six months bank statements, savings accounts, credit card statements etc.

Can I receive public funds i.e.benefits?

If you move to Pitcairn you will need to have your own personal funds to support yourself for at least the first two years until your residency is approved. You are able to work on Island under a settlement visa.
You would qualify for subsidised medical treatment at the clinic after six months of your settlement period but your private medical insurance should be in place until your residency visa is granted to cover any emergencies.
The qualification period for a Pitcairn pension is five years from being granted residency

What currency is used on Pitcairn?

All government transactions are carried out using the New Zealand Dollar - this includes the store, medical centre, utility bills etc.

Private Island enterprise including Pitcairn Island Accommodation costs and local souvenirs are priced in US Dollars. You can access cash on credit cards and exchange currency at the Government Treasury Office.

Accommodation

Is there accommodation to buy or rent on the island?

There are currently no properties for sale on the island. Pitcairn Island officials can help arrange accommodation for you with a local family on a charged basis or alternatively there are a couple of private self-contained houses and units for rent, subject to availability.

I would like to build my own house, is this possible?

Yes. Once your settlement application is approved a further application can be made to the Pitcairn Islands land court for a plot on which to build your home. Land is currently granted on a leasehold basis. You can also apply for additional land for garden, forest or orchard, based on reasonable need.
It is up to you to arrange construction of your home, you may like to employ local labour, work on the project yourself or bring in an external contractor.

On average how much does it cost to build a house on Pitcairn?

A fair estimate including importing all building materials and furnishings, and paying local contractors to build a 3 bedroom house, of around 125 to 160 square metres in size, might range from approximately NZ$70,000 to NZ$150,000. Of course this will depend upon personal tastes and materials.

A Home Loan Scheme is available to first time home builders providing up to NZ$ 40,000 to cover purchases of materials and to cover freight costs on attractive terms.

How much is it to buy land on Pitcairn?

There are currently no charges for land for settlement on Pitcairn Island

As a new migrant, how do I apply for land to build a new home?

A new migrant may, from within 6 months of arrival at Pitcairn, apply to the Pitcairn Island Council for use of Council land on which to build a home.

On approval the Pitcairn Island Council will enter into a contracted agreement with the applicant, enabling the him or her temporary use of Council land until such time as the new migrant has completed their 2 year Settlement/Permanent Residency requirement period i.e. when the new migrant is granted Permanent Residency status by the Governor.

At that time the Applicant can then apply to the Land Court and Council to have the land they have built their home on to be formally allocated to him/her or a leasehold basis in the usually manner.

Are there builders/electricians/plumbers etc. on island who could build me a house?

There are a number of skilled trades people on the island who have in the past assisted in house building and could be approached on a private basis should you wish to.

Employment

Do I have to settle on Pitcairn permanently or can I come for 6 months to work?

You can apply for a long term visa, there is no compulsion to settle on the island.

Do I need a visa to work on Pitcairn?

If you have not been granted a settlement visa and are not a permanent resident of Pitcairn you will need to obtain written permission from the Island Council before taking up paid employment or entering into business on Pitcairn.

Is everyone employed on Pitcairn?

No, we have a number of retired residents and partners of expatriate staff who are not currently employed.

Do I need to work if I move to Pitcairn?

If you are able to support yourself financially then there is no requirement to find work.

Do I need to have certain skills to move to Pitcairn?

No but all skills can be put to good use on the Island.

What sort of work is available on Pitcairn?

Work is generally available on Island, both project work and casual opportunities as well as part time government jobs.

What is the retirement age on Pitcairn?

Some islanders do take the option to retire at 65, but in accordance with age equality legislation there is no compulsory retirement age on Pitcairn.

Timings / Next Step

How long does it take to process a settlement application?

If all the documents are in order and Council has endorsed the application, the applicant(s) will be called for an interview with the Deputy Governor and a decision made within one month of that interview.

Is there a charge for settlement applications?

Yes. The current fee is NZ$500, non refundable.

Download the F.A.Q

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