The offer has been standing since 2013, but successive Australian Labor and Liberal prime ministers have rejected it.
Ms Ardern said yesterday she wanted to «correct the record» to let Australia know the offer to resettle anyone, including single men, still stands, dependent on security advice. «We have been utterly consistent. UNHCR themselves, in the way that they work through with refugees, does place some priority on women and children,» she said.
«It was never, however, the case that our offer across Manus and Nauru was solely around women and children, but of course we acknowledge the special need that existed there.»
Ms Ardern said that if Australia was to take up the offer, New Zealand would do its own security checks on the asylum seekers.
Mr Morrison confirmed there are only single males left on Manus Island, with a number failing character tests.
«If you would apply the normal character test that applies to all other persons who would seek to come to Australia, whether they are a student, a visitor or anything else, you wouldn’t allow them in,» he said.
«That is why we are concerned about what passed the Parliament last week, because it compromises our ability to prevent the transfer.»
The Morrison government says there’s a loophole that prevents people being sent back to Manus Island and Nauru once they have been transferred to Australia for treatment. «That, I think, now makes (the New Zealand offer) even more difficult than it was before, and we weren’t taking it up before,» Mr Morrison said.
But Labor rejects the claims and vows to return asylum seekers once doctors advise they have completed medical treatment.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government believed inaction was a better solution than accepting New Zealand’s offer.