Another chance looms to transfer refugees to New Zealand

“We’ve consistently made it,” Ms Ardern said. “The Australian government knows that it’s there. We’ve always said that it’s a matter ultimately for them.


“However, of course we’ve always said as well it would be an offer

for refugees. So that’s the area where we would make sure New Zealand’s input would be.”

The offer was first made by former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in February 2013 and was continued under his successors, Bill English and Ms Ardern.

While the Gillard government accepted the original offer, Tony Abbott rejected it upon becoming Prime Minister in September 2013.

The offer was rejected again during the Turnbull government after a failed attempt to legislate a “lifetime ban visa” to stop the refugees moving from New Zealand to Australia.

Refugee advocates took the streets in Sydney in national rallies to mark six years since the implementation of offshore detention on Manus and Nauru.Credit:AAP

Labor adjusted its position last October to accept the “lifetime ban” subject to conditions, but Mr Morrison did not take up the chance to compromise on the bill.

Ms Ardern confirmed in an interview the size of the proposed refugee intake had not changed.

“The offer hasn’t changed and the offer was 150 places,” she said.


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, who took office in May, has arrived in Australia for meetings in which he will urge the Morrison government to speed up the removal of refugees from Manus Island.

“These are human beings we’re dealing with. We can’t leave them all hanging in space with no serious consideration into their future,” Mr Marape told ABC Radio last Friday.

Mr Marape arrived in Canberra on Sunday for a dinner with Mr Morrison ahead of a formal bilateral meeting on Monday.

An estimated 450 asylum seekers are in Papua New Guinea while 350 are on Nauru.

Mr Marape said last Friday he had asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for faster action.

“I’ve met Immigration Minister Peter Dutton already. I’ve asked him to expedite the processing of asylum seekers,” he said.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape and wife Rachel Marape arrive at Fairbairn Airbase in Canberra on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape and wife Rachel Marape arrive at Fairbairn Airbase in Canberra on Sunday, July 21, 2019. Credit:AAP

Greens Senator Nick McKim was told to leave Papua New Guinea after visiting Manus Island last week to mark six years since the Australian government imposed policies to transfer asylum seekers to the detention centre.

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