2 Dec 2014

Documentary maker to put spotlight on New Caledonia

4:27 pm on 2 December 2014

The maker of a documentary that explores conflicts surrounding nickel mining in New Caledonia says he hopes it shows the complexity of the independence issue.

no caption

Photo: AFP

Director Jim Marbrook made the documentary 'Cap Bocage', which follows independence activist Florent Eurisouké as he and the environmental organisation Mèè Rhaari take on the mining company, Ballande.

The film was first shown at the New Zealand International Film Festival earlier this year, and was shown again as part of the Pacific Journalism Review Conference last week.

Mr Marbrook says the film shows that independence is connected with nickel mining, which complicates environmental and traditional land rights issues.

"Because the Northern Province does have a nickel mine that brings in quite a lot of money and that may also fuel some autonomous position for the northern province, and of course the independence movement is a kind of uneasy bed fellow in many respects with the kind of environmental movement. Where there's money, there's nickel and there are some pretty stringent controls you've got to take when you're trying to protect the environment from open cast mining."

A vote on an independence referendum is expected by 2018.