7 May 2011

NZ not involved in Australian refugee centre plan

8:20 pm on 7 May 2011

The Government says Australia is not involving New Zealand in a refugee processing centre in Papua New Guinea.

The Australian government is negotiating with Papua New Guinea to reopen a detention centre on Manus Island, in the north of the country, which was closed in 2007.

Australia is pursuing the option after a proposal for a regional processing centre in East Timor was opposed by Timorese leaders last year.

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard says she is still hoping for a regional solution with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

A spokesperson for New Zealand's Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says New Zealand has not been asked to be involved in the Manus Island centre and it does not expect to be.