Before the referendum, New Caledonians have expressed themselves.
A third referendum will probably be held in the forthcoming months. New Caledonians will have to choose whether they want to remain in France or become part of an independent country. To prepare for this event, the French State has asked New Caledonians to say what they want for the future. 113 associations, trade unions or companies answered the State’s questions.
Environment as a priority
The defence of the environment was a very frequent concern. Caledonians want food autonomy and want to increase the production of renewable energy. They also want to revolutionise agriculture. Overall, they are very suspicious of mining, which is Caledonia’s main source of wealth. Environmental associations often think they are preaching in the desert. Reading these contributions shows that they are heard. The environment is a major concern.
Generalized mistrust of political leaders
Several contributions denounce the incompetence of elected officials. This is also a major concern. Distrust is strong. One might think that politicians had better change radically their discourses (and actions) if they want to survive…
Fear of China
Another major concern is China and it’s growing influence in the Pacific area. A large number of texts point a generalized fear of China. This is also a major concern of the French state which is implementing its Indo-Pacific axis to counter China’s influence in the region.
A question of currency
A reading of the texts shows that the main concern about Caledonian independence is the drop in the standard of living. This concern is constant among the non-independents. The independentists are less concerned about this drop in the standard of living.
What does it mean to be French?
The State asked contributors to answer the following question: what does it mean to be French in New Caledonia today?
The contributors associate French nationality with democracy and freedom… The vast majority, whether or not they are pro-independence, want to keep a strong link with France.