Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the New Zealand Government has sent a "clear message" to people smugglers that their business won't be tolerated despite criticism from a controversial Australian Senator that New Zealand is enabling them in offering to take Manus Island refugees.
Australian senator Pauline Hanson criticised New Zealand's offer to accept refugees from Manus Island, saying it will open a back door to smuggling people into Australia.
"[New Zealand] taking the refugees is going to send a clear message to these people smugglers and everyone else," she told TVNZ 1's Q + A programme yesterday.
"You will end up in New Zealand and you can then actually come across to Australia and that is not what we want."
Speaking to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme this morning, Ms Ardern said this wouldn't be the case.
"The full force of the law should come down on anyone who exploits people who are vulnerable," she told Hilary Barry.
"This idea that you can seek to come into Australia and then be resettled in New Zealand, I don't think that's the message."
New Zealand has pressed the Australian Government to allow New Zealand to take 150 detainees from the closed detention centre on the island.
The offer has been rebuffed several times by the Australian Government since National first made it in 2013.
Ms Ardern says the offer is still on the table but it’s a matter for the Australian Government to decide whether they’ll take it up.
They are negotiating with the US to take all of the refugees.