Administrator of Tristan da Cunha
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politics and government of
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
The Administrator of Tristan da Cunha is the head of government and representative of the Governor of Saint Helena in Tristan da Cunha. The role of the Administrator is to chair the territory's Island council which consists of 8 elected members and 3 appointed members. As a part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the head of state is Elizabeth II, with the Governor of Saint Helena appointed by the British government to act as her local representative. However, as Tristan da Cunha is over 1,350 miles away from Saint Helena, an Administrator is appointed as the Governor's representative on the Island. Previously the Administrator also acted as the local Magistrate, but the appointment is to be transferred to a non-member of the executive or legislative branches of government.
The current Administrator is Alex Mitham, who took up the office in September 2013.
The first Administrator, appointed during World War II, was Surgeon Lieutenant Commander E.J.S. Woolley, the head of the 16-man British naval garrison on the Island which was charged with monitoring German submarines and intercepting their communications. The first Colonial Office appointee as Administrator was Hugh Elliott in about 1949 when commercial development began of the local crayfish catch, for export markets. There was then no currency on Tristan da Cunha: local trade was by barter. Mr. Elliott's activities included the island's first postal service and discovery of a new species of flea, which he named for his wife Elizabeth.
The Administrator has his own flag, a Union Jack with the addition of the territory's coat of arms in the centre of the flag.