ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2017


Ardern admits she may be seen as "an irritant" over Manus Island

14 November 2017, 01:19 | Erica Roy

The 600 men holed up at the Manus detention centre are still refusing to move to new facilities

Australia Refugees

Ardern again reiterated New Zealand's desire to resettle 150 of the men now held in Australia's offshore detention centres despite Malcolm Turnbull turning down her offer a week prior.

At the same time, New Zealand believes the United States will take "higher quality" refugees off Manus first, leaving New Zealand with poorer quality.

Under the USA deal, up to 1,250 asylum seekers detained by Australia in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the South Pacific could be resettled in the United States in return for Australia accepting refugees from Central America. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done", Ardern said.

"I have pursued this issue from New Zealand's perspective", she told a media conference at the APEC Summit in Vietnam.

"What Australia is doing is inhumane, and that is why we are here locking down the Australian high commission".

Two motions introduced in Australia's parliament by the labour and Green parties, and passed in the upper house on Tuesday, call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to approve the New Zealand proposal.


Mr Turnbull had a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday morning in Manila and the pair will share dinner together where the US offer to accept 1250 refugees - agreed by former president Barack Obama - is likely to come up.

In a statement on Sunday, Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas urged refugees and asylum seekers still in the processing centre they must leave by Monday "so that they can have access to basic necessities such as food, water, medical care and security and that the work on decommissioning of the facility can be completed for the PNG Defence Force to take complete control of their land and property".

Ms Ardern said it was faster to organise the logistics of any deal with Australia. The crowd were watched by a dozen police but their demonstration ended peacefully.

With many detainees complaining of illness bought about by the unsanitary conditions in the camp, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Australia to allow 150 of them to resettle in New Zealand.

"The people on Manus need our help, they have committed no crime and shouldn't be locked up for exercising their right to seek asylum", said Emma Cullen, spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington.



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