Ardern in Australia: Manus Island offer still on table, says PM

The two leaders held talks here earlier on Sunday.

Meanwhile Papua New Guinea Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas says it's no longer possible to restore services to the Manus Island detention centre, and has urged its inhabitants to leave.

Turnbull said the United States refugee resettlement deal, which will take up to 1250 people, was the priority.

It comes as the standoff on Manus Island enters into its fifth day, with more than 600 refugees having barricaded themselves into the detention centre which closed on Tuesday.

The offer, first made by the country to the Gillard government in 2013, has been rejected a few times on the grounds that it would give asylum seekers a backdoor into Australia and become a marketing opportunity for people smugglers.

So far 54 refugees have been resettled in the US.

Asked at her post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon if she's interested in meeting Mr Putin at APEC, Ms Ardern said she has to "prioritise those elements of our trade agenda which are acute".

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"We've always believed that we can try our best to find a balance to pursue the interest of our exporters but at the same time we want it to maintain the position of trying to pursue New Zealand's best interest".

Mr Thomas said the security concerns of detainees had been taken into account, with increased measures put in place at the other facilities.

Take a look at what some of our readers had to say about Mr Turnbull not taking up Ms Ardern's offer.

The stand-off at the Manus Island detention centre prompted Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to issue a statement on Friday, calling on Mr Turnbull to accept the offer, describing it as not dissimilar to the U.S. deal.

But on Sunday morning, a Government backbencher, former defence minister Kevin Andrews, said the proposal should be seriously considered.

Mr Turnbull's decision not to accept the offer may prolong what Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called a "humanitarian catastrophe" on Manus Island.


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