13 Jun 2015

Govt refers asylum seekers to Australia

7:17 am on 13 June 2015

The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.

Refugees from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar are seeking asylum in New Zealand.

Refugees from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar are seeking asylum in New Zealand. Photo: Supplied

The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.

In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the group made a plea to the Government for asylum, saying it is unsafe for them to return home.

A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.

It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office.

A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees.

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