27 May 2024

More New Zealanders stuck in New Caledonia evacuated

7:59 pm on 27 May 2024
An abandoned barricade in Noumea.

An abandoned barricade in Noumea seen on 20 May 2024. Photo: AFP / Theo Rouby

A New Zealand Defence Force aircraft brought back 52 New Zealanders on Monday.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) confirmed the flight from Noumea landed in Auckland shortly before 5.30pm.

However, there were some people who were unable to get to central pick-up points for the flight, MFAT said.

"With New Caledonia in a state of emergency, including a national curfew, travel has been restricted," a spokesperson for MFAT said.

That meant people outside of Noumea could still be trying to get to the pick-up points, they said.

A final repatriation flight is planned for tomorrow for the remaining people who wish to return to New Zealand.

"We believe this to be fewer than 20 New Zealand citizens."

In the past week the NZDF had brought more than 300 people out of Noumea, many of them New Zealanders, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said.

Seven people have died in the riots, which were sparked by a controversial electoral reform that some feared would weaken the indigenous Kanaky vote.

France said it was sending seven more mobile military units as reinforcements in New Caledonia.

The Presidential Palace also said a state of emergency would end, as planned, on Tuesday at 5am local time (6am NZT).

The arrival of an additional 480 gendarmes will bring the number of French security forces in the territory to about 3500.

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