New Zealand offers to take asylum seekers

Issue 

The 267 asylum seekers facing deportation to Nauru and Manus Island by the Australian government could go to New Zealand if they are found to be refugees, the country's Prime Minister John Key said on February 15.

Among those facing deportation are 37 babies born in Australia to asylum seeker parents, and another 54 children, some of whom are attending school. A High Court decision this month ruled Australia's offshore processing regime was legal.

An agreement was made in 2013 between the two governments for New Zealand to take 150 refugees a year from Australia's immigration system. Australia never took up the offer but it remained open, despite the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, effectively shelving it when he took office.

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