Ardern admits she may be seen as "an irritant" over Manus Island


Ardern admits she may be seen as

PNG authorities have moved into the centre yesterday and destroyed shelters' and storage water tanks built by the refugees who are refusing to leave the decommissioned, Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island, but have avoided using force to forcibly evict anyone in their efforts to move people on.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was expected to have a more substantive meeting with her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull about the offer in the Philippines this week, where they are both attending the East Asia Summit.

The two leaders discussed New Zealand's longstanding offer to resettle 150 men from Australia's detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru little more than a week ago. No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done, ' she said on Sunday.

Ms Ardern hasn't revealed the content of the talks with Mr Turnbull, but said the fact they were continuing proved the urgency of the situation.

The approximately 420 asylum seekers and refugees choosing to remain at the now-closed Manus Island processing centre have been without food, water or medical supplies for nearly two weeks.

At the same time, New Zealand believes the United States will take "higher quality" refugees off Manus first, leaving New Zealand with poorer quality.

Ms Ardern said it was faster to organise the logistics of any deal with Australia.

But National's foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee said it was "surprising she's chose to go so hard on the Australians".

A woman protester at the gates of the Australian High Commission in Wellington.

This has previously been resisted, with official concerns that it would create a small group of "second-class citizens" in New Zealand that don't enjoy free access to Australia. The crowd were watched by a dozen police but their demonstration ended peacefully.

"What Australia is doing is inhumane. 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 goal of the protest was to prevent anyone inside from leaving, Peace Action Wellington spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.