When French President Emmanuel Macron recently visited Australia, the Australian Government welcomed France as a stable partner in the Pacific region. Much of this stability relies upon the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, which will hold a referendum on self-determination in November this year. The independence movement Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) has been campaigning for independence from France for more than three decades.
Leading Kanak politician and official FLNKS independence spokesperson Daniel Goa spoke about the lead-up to the referendum, the FLNKS proposal for a Kanaky-New Caledonia republic, and economic options for an independent and sovereign state. At a time when the Australian Government is stepping up engagement in the Pacific region, he discussed implications of the referendum for ties between Australia and one of its closest Pacific neighbours.
Daniel Goa is President of Union Calédonienne (UC), the largest member of the FLNKS independence coalition. He was born at the Haut-Coulna tribe, near Hienghène, New Caledonia. Goa was elected to New Caledonia’s Northern Provincial Assembly in 2002, and to the Congress of New Caledonia in 2009. In 2012 he was elected UC President, and today serves as official spokesperson for the FLNKS independence coalition in the lead-up to November’s referendum on self-determination.