Each of these provinces has its own flag and emblem and has considerable powers, including all powers that are not explicitly the prerogative of either the Territorial Congress in Nouméa or the French Republic in Paris. The provinces are further subdivided into communes (municipalities) which in fact in most cases predate the establishment of the provinces, whose borders and powers were outlined in 1988 (see Matignon Accords). One commune, Poya, was then divided between the two mainland provinces. This state of affairs continues to this day. The provincial seat of the North Province is at Koné (although physically located closer to the town of Pouembout). The South Province has its provincial seat at Nouméa, although La Foa also serves as the seat of some administrations (see Administrative subdivisions section below). The Loyalty Islands Province has its seat at Wé in the commune of Lifou.
Communal seats are shown in parentheses if different from the commune name.