2 Aug 2012

Lurel dismisses uproar over Kanaky name

2:39 pm on 2 August 2012

The French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has dismissed the uproar by New Caledonian anti-independence politicians over his use of the name Kanaky as a storm in a teacup.

The minister referred to the territory as New Caledonia Kanaky after meeting a pro-indepedence provincial president in Paris.

The Rassemblement-UMP described this as a provocation and the Future Together Party says it's scandalous and an act of partisanship.

The leader of the Caledonia Together Party, Philippe Gomes, says the minister has trampled on New Caledonia's sovereignty.

Mr Lurel, however, says there is no big deal to use the word Kanak as the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy speaks of the Kanak identity.

He says the French government is not taking sides and adhering to the Noumea Accord.