A Sudanese refugee stuck on Manus Island since 2013 has a message for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: "Just keep going".

Ardern, who has been criticised for saying New Zealand would take 150 Manus Island refugees late last year, has been accused of making the country a soft target for people smugglers.

Saying the claim was "rubbish", Manus detainee Abdul Aziz Muhamat, 26, said asylum seekers were "so grateful' for her offer.

"What I want to say to her is just keep going, don't listen to these people who are criticising," Muhamat told the Herald.

"They cannot change her humanity, they cannot change her kindness."

Abdul Aziz Muhamat, 26, an asylum seeker on Manus Island who says he is 'so grateful' to Jacinda Ardern for offering to take 150 refugees. Photo / Supplied
Abdul Aziz Muhamat, 26, an asylum seeker on Manus Island who says he is 'so grateful' to Jacinda Ardern for offering to take 150 refugees. Photo / Supplied

Late last year Ardern repeatedly pushed Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull to take up a long-standing offer for New Zealand to take 150 refugees in Australia's asylum seeker centres – something Australia has so far refused every year citing concerns it would send the wrong message to people smugglers.

Muhamat, a member of the Zaghawa ethnic minority group, fled Darfur in North Sudan five years ago and said he and other Manus Island detainees were starting to lose hope they would ever leave.

"We haven't seen any green light,' he said.

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"We were so happy that at least the New Zealand Prime Minister stepped in and wanted to help the Australian Government to solve this mess.

"Everyone is so grateful to her for her offer. But unfortunately what we are seeing from the Australian Government … they are not accepting the offer. They are delaying."

• READ MORE: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reaffirms pledge to take Manus Island refugees

Calling his experience on Manus torture, Muhamat said he had seen so much violence in the last five years, including desperate acts of self harm as well as violence inflicted by security staff hired to keep order in the detention centre.

"I expressed my interests to go anywhere, no matter New Zealand or the United States, but the Government is refusing me.

"I want to get out of this place. I'm just a human being like anybody else."

Muhamat said he didn't believe the Australian Government's claim Ardern's offer had increased the number of boats heading to Australia and New Zealand.

"There's nobody reaching the New Zealand shores, so where are the boats you are talking about? Give me a break."

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she'd been advised the number of boats arriving from Sri Lanka in recent months was not unusual. Photo / File
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she'd been advised the number of boats arriving from Sri Lanka in recent months was not unusual. Photo / File

Ardern today denied her stance on the Manus Island asylum seekers has made New Zealand a soft target for boat people, blaming the "parasites" of people smugglers.

• READ MORE: PM Jacinda Ardern: blame 'parasite' people smugglers, not Labour

Commenting on reports in Australian media that boatloads of Sri Lankans had been stopped in recent months claiming they were trying to head to New Zealand, Ardern said "chatter" amongst people smugglers had ebbed and flowed over a long period and it was not a new issue.

"I'm advised that none of the activity we've seen in recent times is unusual."

Asked what she would say to any asylum seekers who said they were trying to get to New Zealand, she said her message was for the people smugglers:

"I consider them to be parasites. They prey on people's vulnerability, they manipulate situations and use any propaganda they can to take money from vulnerable people."

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