New Caledonia

New Caledonian election a vote on independence

Journalist Nic Maclellan spoke at a public meeting in Melbourne on July 10 about his visit to New Caledonia to observe the May 11 elections.

Maclellan said New Caledonia was colonised by France in 1853. Indigenous Kanaks have been reduced to a minority in their own country. Kanaks are now 44% of the population. In addition to settlers from France itself, there are also people from other French colonies in the Pacific (Tahiti, Wallis and Futuna), as well as people whose ancestors came from former French colonies such as Vietnam and Algeria.

Pacific activists: 'Say not to GMO'

New Caledonia, a French-administered archipelago in the south-west Pacific, passed a law on February 13 banning the importation of genetically modified seeds for cereals and fruits.

Vegetables, however, are exempt from the law. A proposal for mandatory labelling of GMO products is still to be approved by the Congress.

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