A new poll shows a majority of Australians support New Zealand taking ​refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly offered to take 150 asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru in the wake of what has been described as a humanitarian crisis in the detention centres there.

The offer has been repeatedly rebuffed; Australia prefers to work out a resettlement solution with the United States. Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has also cited the risk of refugees being sent to New Zealand and then returning to Australia through our "open borders" policy.

This morning a Sky News ReachTEL poll was published, showing that 58 per cent of those surveyed supported the resettlement of refugees in New Zealand; 19 per cent were opposed, and 23 per cent undecided.


Ardern told Newstalk ZB this morning that offering to resettle 150 refugees, an offer first made by then Prime Minister John Key in 2013, is part of New Zealand's role in assisting Australia with handling asylum seekers.

"We've always argued that we don't have the same issues that Australia has, but we see that we have a role to play in helping or assisting in resolving those issues. Resettlement is part of that."

Asked later about the poll, Ardern said the results were "interesting".

"Ultimately, it's a decision that still sits with the Australian Government."

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in response to the poll, said this morning Australians wanted strong borders.

"We don't want to encourage people smugglers to put people on unseaworthy boats as we have seen in the past, causing deaths at sea and untold misery as they seek to get to New Zealand and/or Australia," Bishop told Sky News.

Opposition leader Bill English said the poll result was unsurprising.

"I'm not surprised Australians would prefer refugees to come here rather than go to​ Australia."


Ardern said her stance on the Manus Island asylum seekers had not made New Zealand a soft target for boat people, saying reported "chatter" among people smugglers targeting New Zealand was nothing unusual.

"Since even over a decade ... there has always been chatter. Nothing of late, I'm advised, is unusual. People smugglers still operate and they'll use any opportunity to try and manipulate people."

Last week Ardern called people smugglers "parasites", after reports in Australian media that boatloads of Sri Lankans had been stopped in recent months claiming they were trying to head to New Zealand.

"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."

Ardern would not confirm the specific details of the reports in the Australian media or comment on the leak of the material.

She denied she had made the situation harder for Australia, saying New Zealand was working alongside Australia to try to stop people smugglers.

"The clear message to them is, just as with Australia, we are working alongside them to try to put an end to people who are risking other people's lives for monetary gain."