English questions Ardern's motives over Manus Island refugee resettlement offer - 'What you're seeing is a bit of a show piece'

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National Party leader Bill English has this morning suggested "a bit of respect" is in order from Jacinda Ardern in her persistent offer to resettle 150 refugees from Australia's Manus Island offshore detention centre.

Bill English says Jacinda Ardern is "pushing" Australia over the men in detention in PNG.
Source: Breakfast

The comments from Mr English came as the New Zealand Prime Minister is set to repeat her offer to take 150 refugees from Ausralia's Manus and Nauru detention centres when she meets Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in the Philippines this week.

"Look I think she knows full well the Australians would have taken up the offer if they thought it was going to work for them," Mr English told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"She knows full well the Australian government is not going to take up the offer.

"I think what you're seeing is a bit of a show piece actually.

"It might work for the audience in New Zealand but I think she does need to show a bit of respect for the difficult situation Australia have with dealing with refugees, the hundreds of people who died when they did have a whole swarm of boats turning up in Australia." 

The National leader was asked why Malcolm Turnbull would stand by it's agreement for the US to resettle 1,250 refugees in its offshore detention centres, and not take up New Zealand's similar offer.

"The indications from Australia are, first, if the refugees come here they can then get entry back into Australia and they have worked very hard to close down the flow of boats and the large number of deaths that were occurring among the people on the boats that didn't make it.

"That's their issue, the point I'm simply making is the New Zeland Prime Minister knows they won't take up the offer, no Australain politician would take it up.

"And I think it's probably stretching the goodwill in the relationship of making a show of looking like she's trying to push them."   

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