3 May 2016

NZ unlikely to approach PNG to take Manus refugees

3:10 pm on 3 May 2016

The New Zealand Prime Minister says his government is unlikely to approach Papua New Guinea with an offer to resettle asylum seekers detained by Australia on Manus Island.

John Key during bridge run on the GCSB/ SIS report.
Last photo of JK for RNZ 2016!

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The Supreme Court in PNG has ruled the detention of about 850 people on the island is illegal and the PNG government says it will shut down the centre where they're kept.

The Manus Island detention centre is a joint project between Australia and PNG and the two countries are due to meet this week to discuss its future.

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said his government has approached Australia with an offer to take 150 of the detainees.

"It's on a year-by-year basis and I think this year they have rejected the idea of invoking that offer," Mr Key said.

"In principle, if they met the criteria of being genuine refugees it's not impossible if Australia came to us, but they haven't made any approaches."

John Key said his government will continue to work with the United Nations refugee agency to fill New Zealand's refugee quota of 750 per year.

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