'No food, no water, no medicine' – Wellington protesters urged govt to intervene in Manus Island

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NZN

Protesters yesterday chained themselves to the gates of the Australian High Commission in Wellington to protest against the treatment of refugees on Manus Island. 

About 50 protesters were outside Australia's High Commission this afternoon.
Source: 1 NEWS

About 20 activists were outside the High Commission, four chained to a gate, campaigning in support of New Zealand's offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australian offshore detention centres.

The protest in Wellington was co-ordinated by Peace Action Wellington. The crowd were watched by a dozen police but their demonstration ended peacefully.

Their intention was to make staff at Australia's High Commission acknowledge and question their government's actions, spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.

"The people on Manus Island need our help, they have committed no crime and shouldn't be locked up for exercising their right to seek asylum," she said.

The offer to take in 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru has been on the table since 2013 but is an issue Jacinda Ardern has gone hard on since becoming prime minister.

She admitted persisting with the issue had the risk of her becoming an irritant to Australia, but said it was important to highlight New Zealand's ability to assist.

"Ultimately there are a group of people that do need to be resettled," she said.

Mr Turnbull most recently rejected New Zealand's offer last Sunday when Ms Ardern travelled to Sydney for their first face-to-face meeting.

Earlier on Monday two Australian politicians spoke out against New Zealand's offer.

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