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Pacific Media Watch

A Māori supporter of Pacific independence movements claims the French government has “constructed the crisis” in New Caledonia by pushing the indigenous Kanak population to the edge, reports Atereano Mateariki of Waatea News.

A NZ Defence Force Hercules is today evacuating about 50 New Zealanders stranded in the French Pacific island territory by riots that broke out last week over a plan to give mainland settlers voting rights after 10 years’ residence.

Sina Brown-Davis from Kia Mau Aotearoa said Kanak leaders had worked patiently towards independence since the last major flare-up in the 1980s, but the increased militarisation of the Pacific seemed to have hardened the resolve of France to hang on to its colonial territory.

“Those rights to self-determination, those rights to independence of the Kanak people as an inalienable right are the road block to the continued militarisation of our region and of those islands,” she said.

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