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Outer island residents to benefit

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 20, 2011) – The New Caledonian government has decided to subsidize air travel for residents of off-shore islands.

This means a return flight between Noumea and the Loyalty Islands will be 125 U.S. dollars.

[PIR editor’s note: Ouvea, Lifou and Mare are New Caledonia’s main outer islands, although the smaller islands of L'Île-des-Pins and Le Mont-Dore are considered part of the main islands South Province.]

To be eligible for the fare, the traveler has to have lived in the outer islands for at least six months.

There is a limit of eight subsidized return trips a year per passenger.

The cost of air travel was a factor in a prolonged dispute earlier this year which on the island of Mare led to unrest and the fatal shooting of four people.

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