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The Députy-Mayor, Sonia Lagarde
Sonia Lagarde's journey began in the “Volontaires” suburb of Nouméa. From a family with New Caledonian roots going back over several generations, she grew up in a modest social background. Her father was a civil servant and her mother had a shop at Place des Cocotiers.
Returning from a spell in Australia, where she became bilingual, she held a post as an announcer on the local public radio and television network. She too, in turn, had a shop at Place des Cocotiers, whilst becoming actively involved in politics at the same time. With currently over 20 years' experience in the institutional life of New Caledonia, Sonia Lagarde was a Member of Congress from 1995 to 2012, then Vice-President of the South Province Assembly from 2004 to 2011.
Passionate about her city, in 2001 she decided to head the "Nouméa c'est Capitale" ("Noumea is Capital") list of candidates for the municipal elections and became the main opposition leader with 5 seats.
In 2008, she stood as a candidate on the "Changer, c’est Capital" list ("Change is Capital"), which won 9 seats.
During her two terms of mandate, Sonia Lagarde championed several projects associated with urban transport, the environment and safety.
She was elected to the National Assembly in 2012, joining the centrist UDI group set up by Jean-Louis Borloo. Sonia Lagarde has also become New Caledonia's first female Deputy.
Always highly-concerned with the quality of life for the people of Nouméa, she has raised several questions with the Government, notably concerning public safety in Noumea. As Deputy of the largest French-speaking electoral constituency in the Pacific, her presence in Parliament enables her to be heard by the Government and to better defend the interests of Noumeans.
On 05 April 2014, strengthened by her local and national experience, at the head of a team mainly composed of Noumeans from the civil sector, Sonia Lagarde was elected Mayor of Noumea.
She is the first woman to have ever been Mayor of the city.