7 Nov 2018

Māori activists congratulate Kanaks on referendum result

4:40 pm on 7 November 2018

Mana Movement activists from the north of New Zealand are congratulating the Kanak independence movement in New Caledonia for the close referendum result over the weekend.

New Caledonia referendum flags

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Walter Zweifel

The relationship between Taitokerau Mana Movement and Kanak pro-independence spans almost 40 years since first meeting at anti-nuclear and pro-independence conferences around the Pacific in the 1980s.

While 56 percent of voters in New Caledonia chose to remain with France, Mana Taitokerau activist Hilda Halkyard-Harawira said the Kanak independence movement has gained ground.

"I think the Kanaks that were behind the framing of the Matignon Accord, could see way ahead and have given their people two or three more opportunities."

She also said there are future plebiscites to vote again for independence.

"People can vote but what is France is prepared to devolve back to the people. That's really what that's about. I just want to congratulate the independence movement for what they have done and they ground that they have made. It has been over 30 to 40 years, it has not just been a two year election plan."

Hilda Halkyard-Harawira said the connections between pro-independence movements in the Pacific continue with their children and grandchildren.

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