Jacinda Ardern reaffirms NZ's offer to take 150 refugees from Australia's offshore detention centres

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today reaffirmed New Zealand's offer to Australia to take 150 refugees who have gone through their offshore processing system.

Australia's offshore processing legislation has many refugees detained in centres in Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and the Pacific Island of Nauru.  

"New Zealand's offer comes from within our existing refugee quota and applies to refugees on both Manus Island and Nauru," Ms Ardern said.

"I expect that the situation on Manus Island will be discussed in my meeting with Prime Minister Turnbull on Sunday. I intend to reaffirm our offer when we meet."

About 600 refugees have barricaded themselves inside the now closed camp on Manus Island off the coast of Papua New Guinea, fearful they'll be attacked by locals if they venture outside.

They have no power, no water and mosquitoes are causing concerns about malaria, one of the refugees told NZ Newswire yesterday.

Iranian Behrouz Boochani said New Zealand was his best chance of resettlement.

"We are asking New Zealand to seriously have negotiations with the Australian government to take us from this prison," he said.

"Our message is to put pressure on the Australian government to accept the offer. We have been here for more than four years."

In June this year the UN's special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, reported that Australia's offshore detention system "cannot be salvaged" and was responsible for "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" of the detainees.

"I acknowledge that, while New Zealand has not had to contend with these issues on our shores, it's hard to ignore the human face of this situation and nor should it be ignored," Ms Ardern said.

"New Zealand will also maintain its right to use its robust screening processes for the Refugee Quota programme, regardless of the origin of the refugees. This will safeguard against any security concerns.”

Ms Ardern is set to have her first sit down meeting with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this Sunday in Sydney. 

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said today she would like New Zealand to work with Australia to find a "compassionate solution" problems at the detention centres.

"I really hope Australia does take up our offer, we are here to help," Mr Lees-Galloway said today.

That offer was made by the previous Government in 2013, and now 600 refugees are refusing to leave the offshore detention centre, fearing they'll be attacked by locals. Source: 1 NEWS



Health Minister calls for investigation into former Waikato DHB boss over accusations of 'wrongful expenditure'

Health Minister David Clark has formally requested an investigation be made into alleged unjustified spending by the former chief executive of the Waikato District Health Board.

On 5 October, the Waikato DHB announced the resignation of their chief executive Dr Nigel Murray with immediate effect.

This resignation occurred part-way through an independent inquiry into alleged financial breaches during his tenure, which was never completed.

"I have written to Commissioner Peter Hughes today to request this action because such issues or allegations, especially relating to senior leaders in the public sector, risk damaging confidence in the public sector," Dr Clark says. 

"It is critical that transparency in and accountability for these processes and outcomes is maintained." 

Mr Clark's letter to the State Services Commissioner has asked the commission to investigate the "unjustified expenditure by Dr Murray of DHB funds", and any similar conduct by any other person within the DHB during the course of the independent inquiry.

"I expect that this investigation may involve considering whether appropriate standards of integrity and conduct have been maintained by Dr Murray and the DHB," Mr Clark said. 
 

New Health Minister David Clark is determined to live up to Labour's election promises.
Health Minister David Clark. Source: 1 NEWS

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Man seriously injured in brutal unprovoked attack by group of men on Wellington street

A man has been seriously injured after being brutally attacked by a group of males on a Wellington street early yesterday morning.

Police say a man was was walking down Wakefield Street on to Blair Street, carrying takeaways, when he was approached by a group of six males.

The men then attempted to grab his food, before attacking the victim, knocking him to the ground and kicking him repeatedly while he tried to protect himself.

The man suffered a number of serious injuries in the attack including a broken jaw and multiple broken teeth.

He has been flown to New Plymouth hospital for surgery today.

Police are appealing to members of the public to come forward if they have any information on the unprovoked assault.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS