We don't like the Christmas Island policy but we can't change it - John Key
Prime Minister John Key accused the Labour Party of "backing rapists" in a heated attack in Parliament on November 10.
That came after Labour MP Kelvin Davis shouted at Mr Key on the way into the House, calling him "gutless" and accusing him of inaction in helping New Zealand detainees in Australia.
Labour MPs then staged a walk-out in protest at Mr Key's comments in Parliament after Speaker David Carter said the comment could stand.
Mr Key told Paul Henry this morning that he "does not like" Australia's policy but he can't do anything to change another country' law.
"We don't like New Zealanders being sent there. My point is, if you are being sent to Christmas Island you don't need to go there, you can come back to New Zealand in a few days or potentially a few weeks."
Mr Key said Kelvin Davis' attack on him was a "stunt" designed to make it look like he was not doing anything to solve the problem.
Labour leader Andrew Little says he has received official advice from Australia that it could take up to 20 weeks for detainees to leave detention centres.
Mr Key says this is "absolute nonsense".
The Prime Minister's Office has revealed there are 22 murderers, 34 child sex offenders and 16 rapists or sex offenders being held on Christmas Island.
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