BLUF

New Caledonia, which is a French overseas collectivity, has voted (for the second time) 'No' to independence from France.

Summary

New Caledonia (NC) is a French Overseas' special collectivity'. Its major industries are tourism and nickel production. However, there is also a strong independence movement. In recent referendums in 2018 and 2020, New Caledonia voted no to independence. The independence movement is entitled to ask for a third referendum as per the Noumea Accord. Generally, the independence movement is supported by indigenous Kanak voters from the Northern and Loyalty Island Provinces. The independence movement has already lost two referendums, but even if they lose the third referendum—discussions about the future of NC must still be held. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France has refrained from dictating whether NC stays part of France. However, he has noted the challenges facing Indo-Pacific nations. He has also asked the pro-French political parties to define their future vision for NC. Worth considering the implications for Australia of an independent NC.