A new law has come into effect in New Caledonia which stipulates that locals have to be given preferrential treatment on the local job market.
The provision was adopted two years ago by the territory's Congress and is in line with the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.
The law provides for a new authority to administer the new situation.
Its key aspect is that the labour market partners work out a list which will define how long a person has to be in New Caledonia to be eligible for employment in the various sectors of the economy.
New Caledonia has been spared the difficulties faced in France and become a destination for French professionals.
With the nickel industry's expansion, New Caledonia has brought in thousands of workers from mainly Asia to advance the projects .