Australia 'quite possibly' pushing back against NZ's refugee offer through the media, Kelvin Davis admits




Acting PM Kelvin Davis has said Australia is "quite possibly" pushing back in the media against New Zealand's offers to take 150 refugees from their offshore detention centre at Manus Island.

The acting PM weighed into the origin of reports four boats of refugees were turned back from heading to NZ shores.
Source: 1 NEWS

The comments from Mr Davis were in reference to the origin of reports out of Australia today that four boats of asylum seekers were turned back from New Zealand shores. 

An article from the Queensland News Corp paper, the Courier Mail, says that "crime syndicates have tried to bypass Australia's tough immigration measures and attempted to send four boats, carrying 164 asylum seekers, to NZ".

Today in Wellington Mr Davis admitted the report could be a direct response to the Labour-led Government's persistent offer to resettle 150 refugees from Australia's offshore detention centres.

"Quite possibly but we're not responsible for Australia and the decisions they make," Mr Davis said.

It was unclear whether Mr Davis was referring to the Australian Government revealing security information about asylum seeker boats they had intercepted.

The acting PM also evaded questions over whether New Zealand's offer to resettle Australia's asylum seekers had encouraged new crossings to Kiwi shores by people smugglers.

"Look the big concern is the people on those islands and that's really where our focus is at the moment," he said.

"It's not very easy crossing the Tasman Sea so I don't think we are an easy target."

Mr Davis would also not comment on whether the Labour-led Government would process refugees seeking asylum in New Zealand that arrived by boat.

"Again that's just speculation, there's a lot of water to be sailed over before we get to that situation," he said. 

"We need to work through the Australian government, because the issue is over there, it's not here.

"That's our first priority and anything else is speculation at this stage."

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