22 Nov 2017

Outcry over New Caledonia common heritage declaration

5:06 pm on 22 November 2017

There is criticism of a New Caledonian proposal to draw up a formal declaration to affirm the territory's heritage before next year's independence referendum.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

At the weekend, Philippe Gomes of the anti-independence Caledonia Together Party suggested drawing up a document to be endorsed by all sides to confirm the elements that unite and define the territory.

But another anti-independence group, the Caledonian Republicans, accused him of acceding to the demands of the pro-independence camp.

In reply, Caledonia Together said the critics had not realised that since 1988, the New Caledonian people had a right to self-determination, citing as parallels Scotland within Britain.

It said the party wanted to have more New Caledonian judges and police officers which was another way of localising key functions which could remain under a French umbrella.

The party said Caledonian Republicans were again just stoking fears.