Labour MP Kelvin Davis has arrived in the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island in a bid to get into the detention centre where New Zealanders, among others, are being held pending deportation.
About 1000 New Zealanders could be deported under a new Australian law, where non-citizens jailed for more than a year can be held indefinitely while a decision is made on whether to deport them.
Kelvin Davis has not been granted permission to visit the centre but is hoping to get access.
Mr Davis said it took him about 20 hours to get from Sydney to Christmas Island.
"The first thing that struck me with flying over here was the sheer isolation of the place and I don't believe there's really any justification to fly detainees say from Sydney over here to Christmas Island."
Mr Davis said it was a 24-hour administrative process to try and get into the facility, but he had already spoken to one detainee by phone a few hours after he arrived.
"They're just so happy that people are taking notice of their plight, it's lifted their morale. It would be really good just to see at least one of them so that they know that the outside world is taking note of what's going on and trying to do something about it on their behalf."
Mr Davis said Labour leader Andrew Little has asked the Australian high commissioner to grant him access to the centre.