John Key doesn't think refugees should sign a charter of New Zealand values, saying migrants are amongst the most patriotic Kiwis.
The Government on Monday announced a 250-person increase to the country's refugee quota, bringing the figure to 1000 -- but it won't come into effect until 2018.
ACT Party leader David Seymour responded suggesting those who make New Zealand their new home sign a charter supporting New Zealand values, including freedom of speech and of assembly and respect for women and different sexualities.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters claimed ACT had stolen his party's policy without credit.
But the Prime Minister says while it's good for refugees to understand a bit about New Zealand and the "principles that underpin us as a nation", he doesn't think they should have to sign a form.
"My experience of migrants when they come to this country is that they become very patriotic Kiwis, and so I don't know whether they need a charter for that. But for people who take this as their home, it's great to encourage them to embrace what it means to be a New Zealander."
This includes knowing a bit about the country's history and the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as New Zealand being a tolerant society.
ACT's policy has left Labour leader Andrew Little a little confused.
"I don't even know what that means," he says.
Mr Little visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan earlier this year, which has become the home of 80,000 Syrians who fled the conflict in their homeland. He says those he spoke to "were people just like you and me".
"Most refugees want to go back to their country of origin. They've left to flee terror and terrorism, and those who've decided they can't find a home back in their own home country are looking for other places in the world where they can get peace, stability and security.
"They sign up to the values by making themselves available by saying 'we just want to go somewhere where we can have a decent life', so I'm not quite sure what it is that David Seymour is asking them to do," Mr Little says.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has defended the quota increase, despite it being called "miserly" by United Future leader Peter Dunne and "less than the bare minimum" by Labour.
He says the Government should focus on providing quality services to a smaller number of refugees, saying it's not enough to "relocate them into a strange country and then leave them".
"The question is, should we put one drop in the ocean, or two? ...We'll take one drop at a time," he told Paul Henry on Tuesday.