New Caledonia

PNG hopes to bounce back at Championships

The OFC championship is being hosted in Tahiti from February 11-24 with eight countries participating.

Our boys are pooled in Group A alongside New Caledonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu while Group B consists of Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

PNG is currently third on the points ladder after round one behind New Caledonia on first place and Tahiti on second. 

In their first match on Saturday, PNG went down to New Caledonia 3-2 while Tahiti defeated Vanuatu 1-0.

Dengue claims life in New Caledonia

RNZ reports a 25-year-old woman in the Noumea area died of dengue type 1 and authorities said she was not considered to be at special risk.

They said she had not travelled in the three weeks before her death.

Hundreds of people have been infected this year and an epidemic was declared in the first week of January as about 20 people a day were being infected with the mosquito-borne disease.

Another two dozen patients have contracted dengue type 2 which was brought into the territory through Vanuatu.


New Caledonia still searching for Vietnamese poachers

The captains of the vessels were jailed last week for illegally fishing in New Caledonia's waters but their crews fled from Noumea despite the authorities disabling their navigation gear.

According to the public broadcaster, a naval commander of the French navy has been told by Australia that the two vessels have not entered its zone.

The commander said the vessels may have headed north towards Papua New Guinea or Vietnam.

French Pacific minors face new travel restrictions

The measure is reportedly aimed at curbing travel to recruitment areas of Middle Eastern extremists.

Minors now need a completed form as well as a photo copy of one of their parents' identity cards.

According to media reports, this means that minors travelling between France and French Polynesia and New Caledonia need the authorisation even if they only transit via Los Angeles or Tokyo.

Photo: AFP Air Calin planes at Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia 

New Caledonia sets up energy agency

The territory aims to produce its electricity without fossil fuels by 2030 with the exception of the nickel smelters which remain key consumers running their own power plants.

The new agency will take over from the current energy control committee and also assume its budget.

A member from the Loyalty Islands says the number of households still to be hooked up to the power grid has remained unchanged for a decade but the government says many of them now have electricity from autonomous set-ups.


Photo: AFP Vale's nickel plant in New Caledonia 

New Caledonia wants to tackle air pollution

The decision comes amid a large number of incidents of excessive air pollution in the Noumea area which have been measured by the organisation Scal Air.

At the behest of the Caledonia Together Party, the Congress agreed to limits similar to those in force in the European Union and in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

The decision will give businesses two years to lower emissions.

New Caledonia aims to deter poachers

The public broadcaster said the blue fishing boats, each with more than a dozen sailors on board, were caught off Belep in the very north.

It said maritime police impaired the boats' ability to fish for several weeks.

The catch has been seized and will be sold to the public.

Unlike in other countries, the law in New Caledonia doesn't allow for the destruction of poachers' boats.

The authorities hope their operations will succeed in curbing illegal fishing.

Photo: Copyright: aquafun / 123RF Stock Photo

Japan-New Caledonia flight disrupted

Aircalin said the 179 passengers have been put up in hotels while efforts are underway to find alternatives for them to reach Noumea.

The airline's schedule is expected to have disruptions over the next two days.

Last year, Aircalin had repeated technical problems with its Airbus A330s.

It ordered two new such wide-body planes which will be delivered for 2019.

New Caledonia will fight disease-carrying mosquitoes with a bacteria

The programme has been developed with Australia's Monash University and entails releasing mosquitoes with the Wolbachia bacteria.

A statement issued by the authorities of Noumea says once the mosquitoes carry this bacteria they can no longer pass on dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

It says gradually the bacteria will spread to all the disease-carrying mosquitoes, hoping to eliminate the problem within about four years.

The method has reportedly been tested in five countries, with transmission rates plummeting.


New Caledonia's most wanted man shot dead in St Louis

Ramon Noraro was wanted by police on suspicion of having used a firearm in repeated and violent clashes which left five police officers with gunshot wounds.

The public broadcaster said details were sketchy but it suggests a fight broke out amid disagreements over how to respond to a judicial probe of the death of William Decoire, a man who was shot dead by police in October.

In the ensuing firefight, another person has been injured.

Police were reportedly also shot at.

Two people have been detained.