New Zealand's Human Rights Commission has welcomed the government's offer to give sanctuary to Australian born asylum seeker children if they are declared genuine refugees.
The Australian government indicated the children and their families were about to be sent back to detention camps on Nauru, a move that had sparked widespread community anger in that country.
New Zealand made an earlier offer to take Australia's refugees from the camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, in 2013, but Australia refused.
The New Zealand prime minister John Key reiterated the offer ahead of a meeting this week with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull.
The Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, said the New Zealand government had the power to do the right thing.
She said it would make a powerful statement to the world about the country's humanity.