Immigration New Zealand says it is confident its systems for vetting refugees are robust enough to keep out criminals.
The government's offer to take some men detained by Australia at camps on Manus Island and Nauru has come under scrutiny, with allegations of child sex abuse and drug dealing by some of the refugees.
However, Immigration's National Manager for Refugees, Andrew Lockhart, told Checkpoint everyone considered for resettlement had already been screened by the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR.
He said New Zealand officials then made their own security and character assessments, and carried out health checks.
"Where a refugee doesn't meet all of the requirements then they can be declined and the UNHCR are advised," he said.
Mr Lockhart said about 10 percent of refugees were turned down for resettlement in New Zealand.