Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won't bypass Australia over Manus

by Jane Patterson / 06 November, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull and Jacinda Ardern after their first meeting. Photo: Pool / Penny Bradfield

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out negotiating directly with Papua New Guinea over taking Manus Island detainees, despite New Zealand's offer to Australia to take 150 refugees being turned down.

PNG is now having to deal with the 600 men holed up in the detention centre, which was closed by Australia last week. They have no food, water or health services.

Though Ms Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed several thorny issues discussed on Sunday, they emerged declaring their relationship to be off to a great start, and joking about her DJing and his attempt at rapping.

Ms Ardern restated New Zealand's offer to take 150 Manus Island refugees - an offer politely declined, for now.

Mr Turnbull said Australia was concentrating on an agreement to resettle 1250 people in the United States, an agreement that would cover hundreds more people than New Zealand was offering to take.

But he did not shut the door completely, saying "in the wake" of that, Australia could then "consider other ones".

Ms Ardern said she considered the deal very much still on the table, while acknowledging Australia clearly was not going to act on it anytime soon.

She was asked whether she'd put the offer to PNG instead.

"No, no, because the offer is still under active consideration by Australia so there is no need to do so."

Ms Ardern said she did understand why Australia would focus on the US, and believed the comparable numbers were the reason it was not taking up New Zealand's offer immediately.

Another concern raised in the past by Australia was that New Zealand could become a back door way of entry to Australia.

Ms Ardern believed that could be avoided, saying there were "ways to deal with that" so should not "stand in the way" of the offer.

But she would not go into any details about the mechanisms she said she had in mind.

On Australian policies that roll back the rights and entitlements of New Zealanders - including a plan to treat them like any other foreign student when charging tertiary fees, Mr Turnbull was unapologetic, saying Australia, like New Zealand, reserved the right to implement its own policies.

In turn, Ms Ardern said New Zealand could respond in kind if it believed an "inequitable" situation had been created.

An area in common is the joint Australia New Zealand training mission in Iraq.

Ms Ardern's predecessor Andrew Little questioned the benefit of training the Iraqi Army describing it as hopelessly organised and poorly led.

He said Labour would not renew the mission.

However, Ms Ardern said she discussed the deployment with Mr Turnbull and did not want to predetermine New Zealand's position, before it was due to be reviewed this time next year.

With both leaders soon heading off to the East Asia Summit and APEC, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is high on the government's mind.

Ms Ardern said she was satisfied New Zealand could implement an effective ban on the foreign purchases of existing residential homes within the current provisions.

Now she said New Zealand will turn its attention to the Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions, which allow investors to sue government.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand and Australia already had a mutual exemption, but the government would look to see if it could make any progress with other countries.

This article was originally published by RNZ.


Golfer Bryson DeChambeau's scientific quest for a consistent swing
96600 2018-09-20 11:33:10Z Sport

Golfer Bryson DeChambeau's scientific quest for a …

by Paul Thomas

Bryson DeChambeau has put himself in the top spot for the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake with a single-minded drive to simplify the game.

Read more
Housing NZ to reimburse hundreds evicted on flawed meth testing
96594 2018-09-20 10:03:55Z Politics

Housing NZ to reimburse hundreds evicted on flawed…

by Jo Moir

Housing NZ has committed to compensating hundreds of tenants it evicted from state homes based on bogus meth testing, some of whom were made homeless.

Read more
Shortland Street is turning into a metaphor for the Trump White House
96588 2018-09-20 09:27:11Z Television

Shortland Street is turning into a metaphor for th…

by Diana Wichtel

An extra night of Shortland Street won’t change the psycho storylines or the mad characters who act without consequence.

Read more
Why GE grass will be the next divisive issue for the coalition Government
96475 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Politics

Why GE grass will be the next divisive issue for t…

by Jane Clifton

As the Government gropes all over in reports and reviews for answers, it looks like GE grass may not be one.

Read more
Funny Girls gets serious about suffrage in new comedy special
96571 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Television

Funny Girls gets serious about suffrage in new com…

by Russell Brown

A comedy special with the Funny Girls sheds light on New Zealand women’s historic winning of the right to vote.

Read more
How to ease symptoms of IBS and endometriosis with the right diet
96373 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Nutrition

How to ease symptoms of IBS and endometriosis with…

by Jennifer Bowden

Diets low in fodmaps are a saviour for people with irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis, helping to manage the gastrointestinal symptoms.

Read more
The web browsers’ war on user tracking
96529 2018-09-19 13:01:40Z Tech

The web browsers’ war on user tracking

by Peter Griffin

The reach of tech giants Facebook and Google goes well beyond their own websites to capture your web browsing. So how can you stop them tracking you?

Read more
Emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley to be revealed
96499 2018-09-19 08:04:02Z Politics

Emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley to b…

by Gia Garrick

Copies of former minister Clare Curran's personal emails to tech entrepreneur Derek Handley are expected to be released to Parliament this afternoon.

Read more