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Andrew Little calls Australia's decision to re-open Christmas Island detention centre 'disappointing'

The Morrison government 's decision to reopen Christmas Island has been called "disappointing" by New Zealand's government.

"The conditions aren't satisfactory," New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little told reporters in Wellington when asked about today's announcement that the island's detention facilities would be reopened.

"It's disappointing to see that happening."

While in opposition, Mr Little and his Labour Party were critical of the treatment of New Zealand-born detainees on the island, describing the conditions as "horrific".

The decision to re-open the Christmas Island centre comes after Australian MPs passed a bill making it easier for sick refugees held offshore to be treated in the country.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the bill weakens border security, which led him to immediately announce that the Christmas Island facility would re-open.

Mr Morrison's minority government voted against the bill, but was defeated 36 votes to 34.

New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little.
New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little. Source: 1 NEWS