New Caledonia

New Caledonia votes no to independence from France

France — Link

But France's Pacific territory faces further wrangling over its future after referendum boycott.

France under fire as New Caledonia autonomy poll goes ahead

France — Link

France's decision to hold the last of a series of three votes on Sunday, against the wishes of Indigenous Kanaks, has drawn condemnation in neighboring Pacific islands where sensitivities over colonization are high.

Covid jabs mandatory in French Pacifc territory of New Caledonia

France — Link

The local parliament in France's South Pacific territory of New Caledonia has voted in favour of compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations of all its adult population and visitors to the archipelago over fears of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus that is sweeping French Polynesia.

French minister claims ‘witch-hunt’ of gendarmerie chief in domestic violence case


Following an investigation by Mediapart which revealed how the newly appointed head of the gendarmerie in France’s South Pacific territory of New Caledonia had been convicted of domestic violence, Colonel Éric Steiger was forced to resign his prestigious post last Friday. Despite the public outrage prompted by the case, and notably how the colonel’s hierarchy were well aware of his conviction, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin, in a radio interview on Tuesday morning, denounced a “cabal” against Steiger, who has admitted committing violence against his ex-wife, adding “I am not for witch-hunts”. Matthieu Suc, Pascale Pascariello and Antton Rouget report.

New Caledonia votes to reject independence from France

France — Link

Independence supporters had wanted all sovereign powers - including justice and policing - to be transferred from France.

Voting heavy in New Caledonia referendum on independence

International — Link

A "yes" vote would see France lose its most import Pacific territory and dent the pride of a former colonial power whose reach once spanned the Caribbean, large parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Virus takes back seat ahead of New Caledonia's independence vote

International — Link

This Sunday, more than 180,000 voters will cast their ballot to find out whether New Caledonia will stick with France or become its own independent state.

New Caledonia independence leader accuses Paris of meddling ahead of vote

France — Interview

The inhabitants of the semi-autonomous South Pacific French territory of New Caledonia are to vote on Sunday in a referendum on whether they want full independence from France, which colonised the archipelago in the mid-19th century. In a similar referendum in 2018, nearly 57% of votes cast were against cutting ties with Paris. Can the pro-independence movement swing the result in their favour this time around? Joseph Confavreux interviews New Caledonia's prominent pro-independence political leader Jean-Pierre Djaïwé.  

New Caledonia: French Pacific territory rejects independence

France — Link

Final results showed that 56.4% chose to remain part of France while 43.6% voted to leave - a tighter result than some polls had predicted.

New Caledonia votes on independence from France

France — Link

Vote in New Caledonia being closely watched as test of support for France in its many territories around the world.

New Caledonia's indigenous people fight for independence from France

International — Link

As the country prepares for a referendum on 4 November, the scars of colonisation are still raw. 

The story of the Paris Communards and Algerian rebels deported to New Caledonia


The French overseas territory of New Caledonia will hold a referendum on November 4th to decide whether the South Pacific archipelago should opt for self-rule. It comes after a 30-year political process to ease continuing high tensions between pro-independence militants from the indigenous Kanak population and the community of ethnic Europeans. The territory has a chequered and often violent history since it became a French possession in 1853, which Mediapart is charting this summer in a series of articles which examine the construction of what was a most singular colonial project. Here, Lucie Delaporte returns to the story of how the defeated militants of the 1871 Paris Commune were deported to New Caledonia alongside Algerian tribesmen who led one of the first major revolts against French rule in Algeria.

Macron arrives to mark the bloody events etched in New Caledonian memories

France — Analysis

President Emmanuel Macron is visiting New Caledonia as the Pacific archipelago prepares for a crucial vote in the autumn on whether to embrace full independence from its old colonial power. The French head of state will be there on the 4th and 5th of May, two grim dates in the calendar of recent New Caledonian history. On May 5th 1988, 19 hostage takers and two soldiers died after the military intervened to rescue gendarmes kidnapped by a separatist group on the island of Ouvéa. A year later, on May 4th, 1989, two nationalist leaders were killed on the same island by another separatist who felt they had betrayed the cause. Joseph Confavreux reports on a bloody past that still hangs over the region's politics and on the attempts at reconciliation and forgiveness.

France's Macron arrives in New Caledonia

France — Link

President's visit set to boost effort by those residents hoping a referendum will result in a rejection of independence, without reigniting conflict.

Macron talks defence on visit to Australia

France — Link

Macron due to discuss security in Pacific where France has significant interests, with both countries concerned over rising Chinese influence.