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I have just returned to NZ after a week on Norfolk Island.
This is the fifth time I have made the trip since 1987, and it won't be my last. When I was sighted by a friend of long standing I was asked, "What the hell are you doing back here again?"
My reply was, "The Island, and some of the people." Over the times I have flown to Norfolk I have noted a very steady decline in the "Service" and the "Quality of Service", plus the hugely escalating costs that are running rife on Norfolk. It used to be that people could go to Norfolk for their holiday and get "Products" not available at home or at a much lower price than in New Zealand.
With the advent of Free Trade Agreements, CER deals, plus the Internet you can now buy products at home at either the same or a slightly lower price in local shops or over the internet than you can on Norfolk. It is also possible to Dine out in a really up market restaurant in New Zealand a lot cheaper than it is in any of the restaurants on Norfolk.
This is because you are a "Captive Market" and are stuck with paying the prices they ask. Although the destination is worthy of much credit many of the "Locals" don't inspire you to return.
I personally felt that I was an encumberance on their time when shopping in a Supermarket or a Fashion Boutique.
You get the feeling they are smiling at you through clenched teeth, wishing you'd "BUGGER OFF" and leave then alone. This was made very obvious by a young girl of about 18/19 from the VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE who was there to collect $30.00 Departure Tax.
She told me to "Go to FIJI next time," when I complained about the fact that she only turned up ten minutes before our final boarding call, and there was nothing to advise anyone that was the way it worked.
"Norfolk Island Time" is fine if you are a resident, not a traveller who is restricted to international timetables. I personally believe that the moment a tourist steps off the plane onto "Norfolk Soil", the Islander's should be there on masse to greet them and kiss their feet.
This is because the Island runs on, and is totally reliant on tourism; and how those products and services are delivered need to be "Re-invented".
I'll be back despite the intolerable things that are evident, but it will be only to once more enjoy the Island and a few of it's citizens.