The Customary Senate, Nouméa, New Caledonia.
It’s important to understand that a First Nations consultative body such as the Customary Senate doesn’t pose a ‘threat’ to democracy or the rule of law.
Officially, sovereignty has been put to bed with three straight independence referendum defeats. But France is continuing to devolve powers to its territory in an ambitious power-sharing experiment.
French President Emmanuel Macron is hailing the independence referendum as a victory for France. But many in the region see it differently.
Pro-independence parties had sought a delay for the third and final referendum due to the impact of the pandemic on the Indigenous Kanak population. It was denied.
Mary Elizabeth Shutler in Vanuatu, in the1960s. Permitted to join the first archaeological expedition to New Caledonia in 1952 as a ‘voluntary assistant’, she was the only French speaker and chief interlocuter with the Kanak people.
Family archives, reproduced with the kind authorisation of John Shutler & Susan Arter.
‘Wives’, volunteers, assistants: the vital contribution of women archaeologists has long been underplayed, if not erased. A new project uncovers trailblazers in the Pacific.
During mating season, a male turtle-headed sea snake will often lose sight of the female before mating can happen. The female may be metres away, but the male won’t ever find her again.
With unrest deepening between pro-independence and loyalist groups, the instability in the French province should be of concern to its near neighbours, including Australia.
A similar 2018 referendum failed, but was much closer than anticipated. Some believe independence might pass this time around, particularly with the issue not high on France’s list of priorities.
The referendum is part of an ongoing reconciliation process following violent protests by indigenous Kanak residents in the 1980s.
Thirty years after deadly protests erupted in Australia’s close neighbour, New Caledonians head to the polls again to vote on whether to remain a part of France.
A raised fist carving on a highway at Touho, Grand Terre. Kanaks, New Caledonia’s Indigenous people, have struggled for independence for over 150 years.
Indigenous New Caledonians, who will vote in an independence referendum next week, have been struggling since French colonisation in 1853. Through songs, they have chronicled past traumas and resistance heroes.
Angustoniscus amieuensis, a New Caledonian cockroach that lives in the moist forests of the island.
The theory that New Caledonia was a piece of land that separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana was a seductive one. But then a cockroach rose up to challenge it.
Fish caught just outside the Marine Protected Area (MPA) area in Tikina Wai, Fiji.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images
Melanesia’s oceans are worth at least US$5.4 billion, but are under increasing threat.
Rising sea levels caused by global warming are putting island habitats that hold 20% of the world’s biodiversity at risk…
The Pacific Islands may be well-known as an idyllic tourist destination, but gendered violence remains a chronic issue for Island women.
Allegations of sorcery-related abuse in Papua New Guinea have had increased prominence in recent days. They involve the alleged torture of six women and one man with hot irons as part of an Easter “sacrifice…
At the Senat Coutumier in Noumea both the tricolour and the Kanak flags are still floating.
Photo: Marie M'Balla-Ndi
There’s no doubt that French President Nicolas Sarkozy needs the votes of the far right in the second round run off of the French elections this weekend. In the first round, right wing Front National candidate…