Jacinda Ardern says she'll be 'an irritant' to Malcolm Turnbull on Manus Island

  • 14/11/2017

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't backing down on Manus Island - even if it hurts relations with Australia.

The Prime Minister will again offer to take 150 refugees when she meets Malcolm Turnbull this week.

The conversation is set to take place as both leaders attend the East Asia Summit in the Philippines, and Ms Ardern says she doesn't mind being an "irritant".

"I think it is important to continue to highlight that New Zealand is here to play a role to assist Australia with this situation that they have," she said.

"But also, ultimately, [we want] to find a solution for refugees."

However National leader Bill English says Ms Ardern "knows full well the Australians won't take up that offer", and told The AM Show she should be "more respectful" of their issues.

"I think she'd be a bit more respectful of the fact they have a tricky problem with border policy and boat people," he said on Tuesday morning.

"I don't think it will be helping the relationship when the Australians know that this is becoming more political for the New Zealand Prime Minister, rather than a real solution.

"There's been large numbers of deaths there in the past when there was a free flow of boat people, and the Australians should make their own decision."

The situation is getting more desperate, with fears leaving men on Manus Island any longer will be fatal.

Barrister Greg Barns represents asylum seekers, and told Newshub hundreds are refusing to leave the detention centre afraid of their new home in Lorengau.

About 420 refugees remain in the now-closed Manus Island centre where food, water and medical supplies have been cut off for almost two weeks.

Australian Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm on Monday told reporters that taking up New Zealand's offer to resettle refugees would be "literally a fatal mistake".

More than 1000 people died attempting to seek asylum in Australia by boat from 2007 to 2013.