New Caledonia's pro-independence Caledonian Union says it wants to propose a vision of society which will make independence acceptable to the majority of the territory's people.
The party's president, Daniel Goa, has told a weekend Congress that many New Caledonians are for independence without knowing it or are keen to build a new country.
He says his side will have to work hard to convince a majority of the benefits of such change, which he says will be outlined next year to prepare a referendum by 2017.
Mr Goa says the plan will have to assure those now opposed to independence that they have their place and that their families and assets are secure.
He says to be against independence makes no sense when independence is inevitable.
The Caledonian Union says should the referendum go against its wish for independence, it won't line up for subsequent, mandated plebiscites but negotiate directly with France.