New Zealand worried over New Caledonia unrest, calls for peace

New Zealand urges all sides to engage in constructive dialogue

New Zealand worried over New Caledonia unrest, calls for peace

Insurance News

By Halee Andrea Alcaraz

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the escalating situation and violent protests in Noumea, New Celedonia are of “serious concern” across the Pacific region.

“The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the situation, so that there can be dialogue and calm,” Peters said in a statement, according to a report from Scoop.

So far, four people have been confirmed dead, while hundreds are injured. Since Monday, there have been fires and mass looting after large riots and armed clashes between indigenous Kanak pro-independence protesters and security forces in Noumea.

Peters noted that all parties must agree that violence is “harmful to every community” in New Caledonia, no matter people’s views on the political arrangements.

Peters noted that as a neighbour of New Caledonia and member of the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand is committed to a peaceful resolution in the situation, adding that France and New Zealand are partners in the Pacific, urging all sides to engage in “constructive dialogue.”

He said that New Zealand was in close contact with local authorities in Noumea and Paris, as well as in Australia and Japan.

The safety of the 170 New Zealanders in New Caledonia is of “utmost concern” to the New Zealand government, Peters said.

He then asked all New Zealanders in New Caledonia to register on SafeTravel, adding that those in need of immediate consular assistance can contact the 24/7 consular emergency line at +64 99 20 20 20.

Aside from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade being in contact with SafeTravel-registered New Zealanders, the consulate general in Noumea is also in contact with some New Zealanders in New Caledonia needing advice on the current unrest.

Peters added that the government will continue to provide guidance to Kiwis who need it.

The foreign minister also encouraged all New Zealanders in New Caledonia to avoid all protests and demonstrations as local authorities have recommended that individuals limit their movements whenever possible.

“We recommend that all travellers check with their airline for any updates on flight booking,” Peters said.

They should also contact their travel insurance provider if their travel is disrupted, he added.

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