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Australia turns down NZ offer to take asylum seekers

06 November 2017

With New Zealand's offer again declined, refugees on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island say they have no faith in the United States to resettle any more of Australia's offshore detainees. Australia wants them to move to new accommodation units but the men fear more attacks by locals, who are opposed to their presence on the island.

Noting that all migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers have a right to a safe and secure environment, a right to an adequate standard of living and to participate in the decision-making process that is affecting their future, Colville said: "Human dignity should be ensured throughout the entire processing of their asylum claims".

"That is an offer that does remain on the table, so whilst it has not been taken up immediately, the prime minister thanked New Zealand for the offer, acknowledged it and it is something that still remains in place", she said. The units have been built by Australia in the PNG community of Lorengau.

Peter Dutton says the refugees should move to alternative accomodation.

Activists rallying in Melbourne accuse Australia of trying to "starve the refugees into submission". They include Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities, and are nearly entirely men.

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But conditions in the camp are deteriorating with limited food and water and electricity cut off, leading the United Nations to warn of a humanitarian emergency.

Sudanese refugee Hass Hassaballa was devastated the NZ offer was rejected.

"However, the government will not shirk its responsibilities and we are prepared to work with relevant authorities to ensure the needs of refugees and non-refugees are provided and they have access to necessary services". They want us to be resettled in Papua new Guinea where even the people of Papua New Guinea they do not want us to resettle in their country.

'We should give consideration to what New Zealand is offering, ' he told Sky News on Sunday.

Ms Ardern's relationship with Australia has been controversial since her election with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop describing the 37-year-old New Zealand leader as "untrustworthy" after an MP from her own Labour Party delved into former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce's dual Kiwi citizenship status.

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'Our situation is getting worse and we need your help, ' the other man said.

Close to a week since the Manus Island detention centre was mothballed and its inhabitants barricaded themselves inside there is no sign of the stand-off ending.

For four years, Australia has paid Papua New Guinea, its nearest neighbor, and Nauru to house asylum seekers who attempt to reach the Australian coast by boat.

"Refugees and non-refugees should no longer have any security concerns", he said.

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Australia turns down NZ offer to take asylum seekers