Two policemen were injured, one of them seriously, in an incident on the outskirts of New Caledonia's capital, Noumea early on Saturday.
A police spokesperson says four officers were in the town of Mont-Dore at about 2 o'clock in the morning when they challenged a man accused of stealing a motorcycle.
The spokesperson says a car then deliberately hit the officers, injuring two of them.
The driver and the alleged motorcycle thief were then able to escape, and a large police operation has been launched to try and find them.
This morning's incident is the latest in a series of cases of police being targetted in New Caledonia.
An officer was shot in the same town earlier this month when he tried to intervene to extinguish a small fire.