Manus Island activists locked to gates of Australian high commission in Wellington

Belinda Tasker                                                       Wednesday

He said giving asylum seekers New Zealand residence could give them a back-door into Australia.

Sources say about 450 men have barricaded themselves into the center and have been living without food, water, and power for over 13 days.

Activists chain themselves to the gates of the Australian high commission in Wellington to protest against the treatment of Manus Island refugees and asylum-seekers.

Protesters at the gates of the Australian High Commission.

"For the mean time, the PNG and Australia government should supply food, water, electricity and medicines to the refugees and asylum seekers".

Asked about reports that Papua New Guinean authorities will soon remove the men from the centre, Ms Ardern said she would once again raise her country's offer to take refugees from Manus Island with Mr Turnbull.

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The men were also threatened with "arrest and prosecution" if they remained at the site after fencing was demolished.

Refugees have refused to leave the Australian-run facility at Manus Island that officially closed on October 31, fearing locals near replacement accommodation located at Lorengu will attack them.

In April 2016, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled the detention centre was unconstitutional and illegal, leading the country and Australia to prepare for its closure.

"The refugees are watching them fearfully...(they) are extremely scared by immigration threat but still saying we will not leave this prison camp for another prison camp", he said. The Australian government is failing to uphold the most basic human rights.

With Australia refusing to take any of the refugees, and a deal between the United States and Australia moving ahead slowly, Ardern reiterated an offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru when she visited Sydney shortly after becoming Prime Minister.

I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done. I think it's clear that we don't think what's happening there is acceptable, that's why the offer is there". Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist from Iran who has been detained on Manus island for more than four years, said on Twitter that workers had begun that task.

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