An advisor to the Norfolk Island groups seeking to regain the island's autonomy from Australia says Canberra cannot ignore the island's founding document.
Norfolk Island was established as a separate British colony by Queen Victoria in 1856 to cater for the people of Pitcairn which had become virtually uninhabitable.
Since Canberra assumed full control of the island in June there has been talk of seeking a listing on the United Nations' list of non self-governing territories.
Governance consultant Gary Russell, who is a member of the New Zealand UN Association, says he believes Australia cannot continue to act without consulting the founding document.
"Even the Crown in England kept reminding the Australian state governments when they kept changing petitions and that 'have you consulted with the people of Norfolk Island before you instigate these changes' and of course this has not happened over the last 160 years where quietly they have instituted changes."