NZ PM Criticises Australia Over Manus Crisis As Situation Escalates

Manus Island refugees face forcible eviction

The approximately 420 asylum seekers and refugees choosing to remain at the now-closed Manus Island processing centre have been without food, water or medical supplies for nearly two weeks. Supplies of water, food and electricity have been cut.

A humanitarian crisis is developing on Manus Island and New Zealand won't be giving up on its offer to take refugees, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

The joint operation between Police, Defence and Immigration Citizenship Services Authority is concluding at the Manus Detention Centre.

"We see that we have a role to play here, we're very eager to play that role and as I say I'll be having another conversation with the Prime Minister in the Philippines". "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done", she said.

Jacinda Ardern is expected to meet Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Manilla, and she's got only one topic on her agenda.

"I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there is acceptable, that's why the offer is there."

In April 2016, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled the detention centre was unconstitutional and illegal, leading the country and Australia to prepare for its closure.

When asked again about the issue at EAS on Sunday night (NZT), Ardern said there was not yet a time set down to talk, but Manus would be the only subject of discussion.

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

Responding to reports PNG authorities were preparing to remove refugees and asylum seekers from the now-closed facility on Thursday, Jacinda Ardern said she wanted to raise the issue with Mr Turnbull at APEC.

Rejecting United Nations calls to restore utilities to the camp, Papua New Guinea this week said it would "apprehend" those responsible for the stand-off when it forcibly evicted the men on Saturday.

"It continues to be the easiest option is to go through Australia given the screening that's already occurred of those refugees".

Meanwhile, National's foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee has said while nobody is immune to the suffering on Manus, Ardern should be cautious and show respect to the wider problem Australia faced.

"Every step of the way has been a dialogue with Australia about the best way to find resolution".

But Ms Adern's criticism of Australia's handling of the refugee crisis on the island - which she has described as unacceptable - has prompted a warning from New Zealand's opposition for her to tread carefully.

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