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NZ Calls For Calm In New Caledonia

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is gravely concerned about the ongoing public disorder in New Caledonia.

“The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” said Mr Peters.

“The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the situation, so that there can be dialogue and calm.

“No matter your views on the political arrangements in New Caledonia, everyone should agree that violence is harmful to every community there.

France declared a state of emergency in New Caledonia from 5am on Wednesday, giving authorities additional powers to ban gatherings and forbid people from moving around the island.

“New Zealand, as a neighbour of New Caledonia and fellow member of the Pacific Islands Forum, has a strong interest in the peaceful resolution of the situation there. France and New Zealand are close partners in the Pacific. We are urging all sides to engage in constructive dialogue,” said Mr Peters.

He said New Zealand was in close contact with local authorities in Nouméa and Paris and partners such as Australia and Japan, so as to keep abreast of developments and provide the best possible consular assistance to New Zealanders in New Caledonia.

“The safety of New Zealanders in New Caledonia is of utmost concern to us.”

“We urge all New Zealanders in New Caledonia to register on SafeTravel, if they have not already. New Zealanders in need of immediate consular assistance can contact the 24/7 Consular Emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.”

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The Minister said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in regular contact with all New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel.

“In addition, our Consulate-General in Nouméa has been in contact with a number of New Zealanders in New Caledonia who have sought advice about the current unrest, and will continue to provide guidance to those Kiwis who need it.”

“New Zealanders in New Caledonia are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations. Local authorities have recommended that individuals stay in place and limit their movements wherever possible.

“We recommend that all travellers check with their airline for any updates on flight bookings. Travellers should also contact their travel insurance provider if travel has been disrupted,” he said.

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