23 Jan 2014

Niue rejects plan to house asylum seekers

9:47 pm on 23 January 2014

A proposal by Niue's Premier Toke Talagi for his nation to house asylum seekers trying to get to Australia has been rejected by the Niuean parliament.

About 1700 asylum seekers are being held in camps in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific island of Nauru under a punitive Australian detention policy to keep them offshore.

Canberra says the policy is aimed at deterring dangerous sea voyages, AFP reports.

In December last year, Mr Talagi raised the prospect that Niue should also be considered as a location for housing asylum-seekers.

He said his offer to take in vulnerable children and women from the refugees was made from a sense of responsibility as a Pacific neighbour

Pacific nations hosting Australia-bound asylum seekers receive incentives in the form of foreign aid and funding for development projects, while the Australian government pays the costs of running and building the camps where the asylum seekers are kept.