Australia 'criminal' for refusing Manus Island refugees - Golriz Ghahraman

A Green party MP has labelled Australia as "criminal" for its handling of refugees trapped on Manus Island.

"I started by calling [Australia] callous, but it's criminal," Green trade spokesperson and former refugee Golriz Ghahraman told The AM Show on Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not yet accepted New Zealand's offer to take in 150 asylum seekers.

"Australia is dead-set on punishing these people. They're trying to deter people who are already escaping torture from coming.

"We're going to look back on this in history and it will be one of the most cruel things that humans have done to each other."

The situation is becoming more desperate at the detention centre on the Papa New Guinea island, with food, water and electricity cut off to try and force the near-400 remaining men out.

A Papua New Guinea court ruled against restoring basic services staying on the site, once run by Australia but now closed.

Ms Ardern's tough stance on Australia's treatment of the 400 refugees on Manus Island has made international headlines. At the weekend she said "harm" was being done, and reiterated New Zealand's offer to take 150 of the men.

Australia hasn't yet accepted New Zealand's offer, but hasn't ruled it out.

Overnight reports emerged of people smugglers taking advantage of the New Zealand Government's stance, attempting to send four boats carrying 164 asylum seekers to the country.

Operation Sovereign Borders, led by the Australian Defence Force, turned the boats back, Courier Mail reports.

Ms Ghahraman says the situation "breaks her heart", because there are real people suffering.

"And these are our kind of people - they're young men who blogged about democracy. They're members of the rainbow community, running away from ISIS. These are who we're punishing.

"Australia has made it pretty clear that they're not taking responsibility. But they're sort of toying with the situation… it's become clear they're stalling.

"It is a humanitarian crisis over there, they're stopping people from accessing their right to seek asylum."

Ms Ghahraman says it is nearing the time to bypass Australia and approach Papa New Guinea directly.