30 Aug 2012

Key and Gillard discuss asylum-seekers

4:20 pm on 30 August 2012

The issue of asylum-seekers was discussed at talks between New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Australian counterpart Julia Gillard in the Cook Islands.

John Key and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

John Key and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Photo: RNZ

The leaders are attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga.

The New Zealand Government has introduced legislation to handle a mass arrival of asylum-seekers, although a boat carrying illegal immigrants has yet to make it to New Zealand shores.

Mr Key said he had an interesting discussion with Ms Gillard about how Australia is progressing with its plans to establish detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Asked whether offshore centres are on the cards for New Zealand, Mr Key said there would have to be a significant flow of people reaching this country before that became a consideration.

Mr Key also signalled help for Pacific nations in protecting their nearly $3 billion fishing resource from poaching by foreign countries.

He said New Zealand aims to share sophisticated satellite technology help combat illegal fishing estimated to cost the Pacific region $400 million to $500 million a year.