Jacinda Ardern steps up pressure on Malcolm Turnbull over refugee offer

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre staging a protest on November 7

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre staging a protest on November 7

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas said Sunday he expected the remaining men at the Manus Island detention centre to leave the site by tomorrow so they can access, "food, water, medical care and security".

About 420 refugees remain in the now-closed Manus Island centre where food, water and medical supplies have been cut off for nearly two weeks.

"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.

"Last time I looked, New Zealand take significantly fewer refugees per capita than Australia", he told reporters in Canberra on Monday. "I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there", she said.

With Australia refusing to take any of the refugees, and a deal between the United States and Australia moving ahead slowly, Ardern reiterated an offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru when she visited Sydney shortly after becoming Prime Minister.

Those now residing inside the closed processing centre have cited safety concerns, claiming they face attack at the hands of locals at new facilities near the main township of Lorengau.

"Our hope is to lend a hand as far as we are able in helping resolve this situation".

And she has not moved to negotiate directly with PNG while Australia leaves New Zealand's offer "on the table" but does not totally reject it. It says boat arrivals will never enter Australia, even if they are found to be refugees, as this would encourage people smugglers in Asia.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee said on Thursday Australia should bring its migration laws into line with worldwide standards.

"That would not be our intent to do that - we treat citizens as citizens and residents as residents".

New Zealand won't pursue a deal directly with Papua New Guinea, despite Foreign Minister Winston Peters spotted holding talks with PNG's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Bowing to pressure from Papua New Guinea which said it would forcibly evict and "apprehend" those that remained as of Saturday, around 20 men left the camp on Friday for one of the transit centers, three asylum seekers told Reuters.

She said Australia had done the initial screening of the refugees, and going direct to PNG would not "add any haste to the issue".

Ardern said she had not had an "official update", but had heard suggestions of that.

It's her strongest statement to date against the unfolding situation. I stand by the way that we've managed the situation.

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