New Caledonia

Doctor in New Caledonia denies planning to kill love rival

Olivier Peres, who oversaw the orthopaedic department at Noumea's public hospital, gunned down Eric Martinez on a golf course four years ago.

Peres said Martinez had an affair with his wife, had threatened his family and boasted that as a member of the French military commando, he had killed people, including children.

The court heard however that Martinez didn't belong to any such unit.

Days before the killing, Peres and his wife had contacted the police, expressing fear after undue pressure from Martinez, whom Peres described in court as a narcissistic pervert.

New Caledonia records 1441 Covid cases

After another rise in the incidence of the virus last week, the numbers are again on a decline, but there are still about 11,000 active cases.

The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients is unchanged at 43, of whom six are in intensive care.

Since September, when the Delta variant first hit the territory, more than 45,000 people contracted the virus and 287 died.

Since last Tuesday, the health pass, which is needed to access a range of venues, is only valid for people who have received the booster shot.

Covid-19 spread in New Caledonia picks up pace

The authorities say there are now 2520 active cases in the community.

20 people are in hospital care of whom seven are in intensive care.

The surge in case numbers follows the arrival of the Omicron variant this month and has prompted calls for more testing centres to open as more people show symptoms.

Rapid antigen tests with health professionals are free until at least the end of the month.

Selftests can be bought in pharmacies but their results aren't recognised to be able to get a health pass.

Protest in New Caledonia against govt's pandemic policies

The unauthorised march in Noumea was held just a day after the government imposed a limit of 30 people for any outside gathering.

Police say while the meeting was illegal, they didn't intervene because many children were in the crowd.

However, according to the public broadcaster, police used teargas after the end of the rally to disperse some demonstrators.

The march was called to oppose the health pass required to enter venues, such as restaurants and museums, and to protest against the law making vaccinations mandatory.

France invites drafts to revise New Caledonia's statute

More than 96 percent of New Caledonians voted against independence in a referendum boycotted by Kanaks. It was the last of three referendums, which concluded the 1998 Noumea Accord on the territory's decolonisation.

The Accord's provisions on the territory's institutional make-up remain in place until a new statute has been adopted.

While the anti-independence camp and Paris welcomed the referendum result, the pro-independence parties said the vote was bogus and they would not recognise its outcome.

Cyclone Ruby weakening

Winds associated with the cyclone are now about 70km an hour, and forecast to drop further by this evening.

Strong winds and large waves are expected along eastern parts of New Caledonia throughout this morning.

The cyclone formed on Sunday, and people in New Caledonia are advised to stay updated of its progress.

New Zealand's MetService expects the weather system will continue weakening and travelling southeast tomorrow, passing the upper North Island offshore during Thursday afternoon and evening.

     

New Caledonia votes against independence from France

Unofficial results show more than 96 percent voted against independence in the third and last such plebiscite under the 1998 Noumea Accord.

Turnout was just under 44 percent, down from more than 85 percent last year.

Pro-independence parties had called on their supporters not to vote after France refused to postpone the referendum because of the impact of the pandemic on the indigenous Kanak population.

The customary Kanak Senate had declared Sunday to be a day of mourning for the 280 people who died in the pandemic.

Forum Ministerial Committee to observe New Caledonia’s independence referendum

Ratu Inoke is joined by Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, High Commissioner of Samoa to Fiji.

The Committee will be supported by the Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, and staff of the Fiji Government and Forum Secretariat.

The committee was deployed by the Pacific Islands Forum to observe New Caledonia’s third and final independence referendum under the 1998 Noumea Accord on December 12.

New Caledonia flights halted over health pass dispute

Flights by Air Caledonie from Noumea to Mare, Lifou and Ouvea have been suspended until further notice.

The pass can be obtained once seven days have elapsed after the second jab of an mRNA vaccine and 28 days after getting other vaccines.

It is also available for those who have had a fresh negative test or proof of having recovered from Covid-19.

The provisions are resisted by several groups, including unions, which also reject the new local law, making vaccinations compulsory by the end of the year.

New Caledonia chief demands halt to vaccines

Henri Dokucas Naisseline said the vaccination obligation deprives people of fundamental rights of freedom and respect for human dignity.

The high chief of the Gaumha district on the island of Mare has decided to stop the vaccination drive in all the tribes under his control, suggesting the vaccine is dangerous.

However, he said those who wish to get the vaccine can still get it.

In August, the government launched an inoculation campaign in the mainly Kanak Loyalty Islands, called Vacci'tribs, in the hope of vaccinating 80 percent of the population by January.