30 Jun 2015

French Senate votes for New Caledonia roll change

2:04 pm on 30 June 2015

Agreement on New Caledonia's electoral roll for the independence vote is a step closer after a nearly unanimous vote in the French Senate.

The Senate has voted in favour of a bill which seeks to broaden the terms for automatic inscription on the roll which was previously limited to New Caledonia's indigenous people.

The French overseas minister George Pau-Langevin, says it was an important moment for the future of the territory but there is still plenty of work to do.

The French overseas minister,  George Pau-Langevin

The French overseas minister, George Pau-Langevin Photo: Supplied

The debate now moves to France's National Assembly.

The bill also deals with special commissions vetting a separate electoral roll used for the territory's provincial elections.

Both rolls have been at the heart of a prolonged dispute which in April led to a mass rally in Noumea against independence from France.