Situation on Manus Island reaching a critical point - United Nations

The United Nations says the situation on Manus Island is reaching a critical point, with refugees reporting cases of diarrhoea and worsening mental health.

Australia has publicly stated that a new facility is ready to take the refugees - but the UN says that's still not the case.  

More than a week after water, power and food were cut off, refugees on Manus Island remain united and resolute. 

But the situation inside remains desperate. 

"We are hearing some cases of diarrhea now. But what's also very troubling is the fact that many are now in a much worse mental health situation than they were before," said Catherine Stubberfield, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees external relations officer.

The men asked the Supreme Court to halt their relocation and get power and water turned back on. That was rejected. 

They have been told to move to a new site, described by Australia as "high quality". But the UN visited the new site at west Lorengau on Tuesday and made a very different assessment.

"Water and electricity were not yet connected at the time," said Ms Stubberfield.

"One site is not yet completely built. We went out there yesterday and saw that it was a construction site. There's no perimeter fence," said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International Pacific researcher.

The UN says even when the new site is ready, it'll only ever be a temporary option and refugees must be resettled in other countries.  

"We do appreciate a country like New Zealand and United States and Canada. They offer their hand but Australia still deny," said refugee Abdul Aziz Adam.

"Already four years. How many more years? We're also human," said a refugee known only as Monalunjun.

The UN makes it clear that the plight of the men on Manus remains Australia's responsibility, since it sent them there and financed the detention centre. 

It says it would welcome any help from New Zealand, which it described as having "a long and proud history of refugee resettlement".