26 Apr 2016

New Caledonia's budget minister resigns

11:45 am on 26 April 2016

New Caledonia's budget minister, Thierry Cornaille, has resigned, citing personal reasons.

Mr Cornaille, who has also been the territorial government's spokesman, is to be replaced by Philippe Dunoyer.

The secretary of Mr Cornaille's Caledonia Together Party, Philippe Michel, has publicly thanked Mr Cornaille for his 18 months in office.

Local media say the sudden resignation comes as a probe is being carried out into the granting of a subsidy to an environmental organisation run by the minister's wife.

The probe was opened after a complaint by a rival politician, Harold Martin, who last year was given a two-year jail sentence that is being appealed.

Mr Cornaille is the former head of the French institution in charge of issuing the French Pacific franc.