27 Jan 2004

NZ Government set to take 20 asylum seekers from Nauru

8:24 am on 27 January 2004

The New Zealand Government is poised to announce that it will take around 20 asylum-seekers from Nauru.

The group, expected to be mainly women and children, is considered among the most vulnerable of the 284 mostly-Afghani asylum-seekers being detained.

Our political staff say the Government's move is in response to a request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

It is possible there will be further intakes, although they will be part of New Zealand's annual quota of 750 refugees.

Our political staff say it is not clear whether the asylum-seekers have been granted refugee status, or are being taken on humanitarian grounds.

The asylum seekers are being detained on Nauru under an arrangement with the Australian Government.