Refugees in Australia for medical treatment after stints in offshore detention could soon be sent to New Zealand.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews is working with her New Zealand counterparts on resettling refugees who have been medically evacuated to Australia.
“We’re going to continue to look at resettlement options for these individuals,” she told 4BC radio on Wednesday.
“We’ve made it very clear with New Zealand that there won’t be a backdoor way for these people to be able to go to New Zealand and then return to Australia.
“We’re working through those issues now and we will continue to do so, and of course we will continue to work with the United States about resettlement options there as well.”
The confirmation comes after talks between trans-Tasman leaders Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern earlier this week.
Several hundred refugees remain in Australia after being transported under the defunct “medevac” laws.
“We’re doing all that we can to work through resettlement options for them,” Ms Andrews said.
“We clearly want to do that as soon as we possibly can.”
New Zealand has maintained a longstanding offer of welcoming refugees from Australia’s network of offshore processing centres, which has never been taken up.