New Caledonia

Severe tropical storm heads to New Caledonia

The category five tropical cyclone Niran has sustained winds of over 200kph and is moving towards New Caledonia at 43km.

Julian Leduc, a Forecaster with the New Caledonia weather office, said the system is 230kms west of the far north of New Caledonia.

"And we begin to have strong gusts on the northern part of the island with 50 knots," he said.

"And its forecast to cross to the main island during the morning, and later today to the southern part of the island."

The system has been hovering in the Coral Sea for the last few days.

New Caledonia's pro-independence camp wins historic election

The vote follows the collapse this month of the tenuous power sharing government led by conservative president Thierry Santa.

New Caledonia's 54 seat Congress has cast its votes for a new 11 member government.

The anti-independence coalition of loyalists, L'Avenir en Confiance got 18 votes securing four ministerial portfolios and Caledonie Ensemble secured one portfolio with six votes.

Vaccination programme rolls out in the French territories

The Pfizer vaccine programme began on 20 January and requires two doses with a 21 day interval between jabs.

The programme is funded by Paris and is free but not compulsory.

And French Polynesian health authorities have given the first of a two dose Covid-19 vaccine to 1526 of its most at-risk people.

The vaccination campaign began on 18 January with Phase One focusing on health workers and those over 75 on Tahiti and Mo'orea.

Hospital staff on Ra'iatea and Nuku Hiva are also being inoculated.

They will receive their second jab in February.

New Caledonia again rejects independence from France

Just over 53 percent of the electorate opted for the status quo in the second of three possible referendums under the Noumea Accord.

180,000 voters, who are on a roll restricted to indigenous Kanaks and long-term residents, were allowed to decide whether the territory should assume full sovereignty.

The results showed a sharp divide between the two camps, with some communes voting with more than 90 percent either for or against independence.

New Caledonia lifts remaining Covid-19 restrictions

This means that from Monday meetings of any size as well as all sports competitions are again allowed.

The wearing of masks on public transport can be discontinued and bars and restaurants no longer need to register patrons.

The president Thierry Santa said there was no local circulation of the virus and that all 21 cases were imported.

One person is still in hospital care.

The border remains closed except for flights from Wallis and Futuna which is the only French-run territory without any Covid-19 case.

New Caledonia extends Covid-19 lockdown

The decision was announced after talks involving medical experts, the French High Commission, the government and the customary Senate.

The extension was the second time that a week had been added to the original lockdown declared on 19 March.

From 20 April the emergency measures will be changed, with details of what will be eased to be announced in the course of next week.

The customary Senate had been in favour of extending the restrictions for longer while some leaders in the mainly Kanak Loyalty Islands province asked for the terms of confinement to be relaxed.

New Caledonia records fifth Covid-19 case, ban on meetings start tonight

The order was announced by the president Thierry Santa and the French High Commissioner Laurent Prevost after two more infections were confirmed.

One case concerns a local pharmacist in her 60s who has not travelled recently, which means the virus is now considered to be in circulation in the community.

Since the announcement, a fifth Covid-19 has been confirmed.

The new regulations ban public and private meetings and entail the closure of non-essential businesses.

Supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to remain open.

Sixth Covid-19 case in Tahiti, two in New Caledonia

Earlier in the day, the authorities said there was one case in Moorea and one in Tahiti.

In an updated statement, the government said a third had been confirmed Thursday.

The individual is reported to be a European tourist who arrived two days ago.

Last week, the first tourist was hospitalised with the virus after falling ill on the atoll of Fakarava.

The French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain said access will be tightened and only residents are now allowed to enter French Polynesia.

Single-use plastic bag ban starts in New Caledonia

From now on, single-use plastic bags are banned.

In a month, the ban will be extended to plastic plates and straws, and starting next May, plastic food packaging will be prohibited.

Per capita New Caledonians have reportedly used more than 200 plastic bags each year.

When the law was adopted by congress last year, some parties abstained from voting, suggesting the change was too sudden.

New Caledonia grabs four golds in judo

In the women’s lightweight category, New Caledonia's Jaycee Brival took gold, her team mate Rosa Delots silver, and the two bronze went to NCL’s Cloe Omo-Perraut and Fiji’s Veniana Ravesi.

For the women’s heavyweight open, there was a surprise victory in gold for Shanice Takayawa of Fiji. Poerava Temakeu of Tahiti settled for silver and the bronze was shared by Tahiti’s Rauhiti Vernaudon and Teraimatuatini Bopp.