PRIME Minister Jacinda Ardern has blasted Australia’s handling of the refugee crisis on Manus Island as unacceptable as she seeks another meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue.
Ms Ardern has continued to push New Zealand’s offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia’s offshore detention centres since her first face-to-face meeting with her Australian counterpart in Sydney a week ago.
She wants a more substantive conversation when both leaders reach the Philippines for the East Asia Summit this week.
“We made the offer because we saw a great need. No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done,” she said on Sunday morning.
“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 see what’s happening there as acceptable, that’s why the offer’s there.”
It’s her strongest statement to date on the unfolding crisis.
The situation on Manus Island continues to deteriorate. There are 400 refugees and asylum seekers who have barricaded themselves inside the mothballed detention centre, fearing for their safety if they leave.