NZ PM Criticises Australia Over Manus Crisis As Situation Escalates

PM denies NZ becoming a soft target for people smuggling

Ms Ardern hasn't revealed the content of the talks with Mr Turnbull, but said the fact they were continuing proved the urgency of the situation.

Almost 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the Manus island center for more than 10 days, despite having no regular food or running water, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the camp in what the United Nations describes as a "looming humanitarian crisis".

The two leaders discussed New Zealand's longstanding offer to resettle 150 men from Australia's detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru little more than a week ago.

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. "We made the offer because we saw a great need", she said.

"Australia does not have the right to reject New Zealand's offer", Boochani said. The government argue that it deters asylum seekers from attempting a perilous sea voyage to Australia.

One of Malcolm Turnbull's Ministers Matt Canavan has described it as a publicity stunt by Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern, who previously reiterated NZ's offer, criticised Australia's unyielding stance on Sunday.

But by the end of the day in Australia it was unclear what steps authorities would take next.

The lawyer Ben Lomai, who is bringing the case on behalf of Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee inside the camp, said the the proposed takeover of the detention centre brought with it the risk of extreme violence.

Mr Turnbull had a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday morning in Manila and the pair will share dinner together where the US offer to accept 1250 refugees - agreed by former president Barack Obama - is likely to come up.

Monday's protest in Wellington was co-ordinated by Peace Action Wellington.

Their intention was to make staff at Australia's High Commission acknowledge and question their government's actions, spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.

He said giving asylum seekers New Zealand residence could give them a back-door into Australia.

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