NZ PM Criticises Australia Over Manus Crisis As Situation Escalates
Nov 15 2017
The Prime Minister acknowledges she could be seen as an irritant to the Australians over her persistence on resettling the Manus Islandrefugees.
Now there are more than 400 refugees who have barricaded themselves in the mothballed Manus Island detention centre fearing they'll be attacked by locals if they're moved by Papua New Guinean authorities to alternative accommodation.
Morteza Saffari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "The Australian government, despite all its apparent support for human rights, has made it very hard for those taking refuge there and pays no attention to human rights [of those concerned] whatsoever", ICANA reported on Saturday. "They destroyed the rubbish bins where we have been collecting water too", said Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist from Iran who has been detained for more than four years.
She's seeking another meeting with Turnbull to discuss New Zealand's offer to take 150 of the refugees and doesn't believe the Aussie PM sees it as a stunt.
This has previously been resisted, with official concerns that it would create a small group of "second-class citizens" in New Zealand that don't enjoy free access to Australia. Australia has consistently rejected the offer, saying it represents a "back door" to Australia, something it will not abide.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has criticised Australia's handling of the escalating refugee crisis as the situation on Manus Island reaches fever pitch.
Asked about reports that Papua New Guinean authorities will soon remove the men from the centre, Ms Ardern said she would once again raise her country's offer to take refugees from Manus Island with Mr Turnbull.
"I see the human face of this and I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play. I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there is acceptable, that's why the offer is there".
It is thought that a group of around 400 men - the majority of whom have refugee status - are now refusing to leave the facility, in defiance of Australian orders that they are relocated from the camp. "We don't want to go to Australia, let us go to NZ".
With the situation worsening by the day, the PNG government is demanding a solution while Australia is denying responsibility.