A woman who drug-trafficking accused Sharon Armstrong calls "aunty" says she wants to go Argentina to support her.

Ms Armstrong, 54, a former Maori Language Commission deputy chief executive, was arrested on April 13 after Buenos Aires Airport police allegedly found 5kg cocaine hidden in her suitcase.

Ms Armstrong has said she did not know about the drugs and was tricked by a man she met online.

She is being held in a medium-security women's detention centre in Ezeiza, about 30km southwest of Buenos Aires.

Jean Ruakere, aged 77, said she yesterday called on the Government to send her and Ms Armstrong's daughter to Argentina to provide emotional support but was refused.

Ms Ruakere, who cared for Ms Armstrong and her two siblings when her mother was sick, told the Taranaki Daily News she had spoken with her while in prison and believed she had been "duped" into carrying the drugs.

She said Ms Armstrong, who had no friends in Argentina, needed support and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's refusal was a blow.

Speaking to NZPA from jail last week, Ms Armstrong said she needed help but was reluctant to talk about her case because she feared for her safety.

"I'm just a little bit concerned that this might be a lot bigger. I've never been involved in anything like this ever before."

She refused to name the man who she said scammed her.

"I'm not wanting to protect him, but I'm not prepared to name any names for fear of any retribution."

Ms Armstrong said reports she was carrying four drivers' licences when arrested were wrong.

She had three licences - New Zealand, Australian, and Cook Islands - with her at the time.

She said the Australian licence was for when she visited family, and the $10 Cook Islands licence had expired.

Staff from the New Zealand embassy in Buenos Aires had visited her in prison and had given her a Spanish dictionary, magazines and writing paper so she could write a journal.

- NZPA