Now there are more than 400 refugees who have barricaded themselves in the mothballed Manus Island detention centre fearing they'll be attacked by locals if they're moved by Papua New Guinean authorities to alternative accommodation.
Mr Peters has made it clear New Zealand's offer also includes refugees and asylum seekers in Australian detention centres in Nauru.
"We urge Australia to reconsider this and take up the offer", Nai Jit Lam, deputy regional representative at the UNHCR told Reuters.
The asylum seekers, drawn largely from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria, use rubbish bins to collect rainwater and set up makeshift shelters to protect against the tropical sun and rain.
"This is essentially a humanitarian crisis that Australia has created".
Citing safety concerns, however, the approximately 600 people living there have refused to leave, despite the rapidly deteriorating conditions.
"It seems like a PR stunt from the New Zealand prime minister to try and focus on one group of refugees which there is a process for, including settlement in the United States", he said.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she will again discuss the stand-off on Manus Island with Malcolm Turnbull when the two leaders meet at the East Asia Summit in the Philippines this week.
Bill English says Jacinda Ardern is "pushing" Australia over the men in detention in PNG. Under a refugee deal with America, which Mr Trump has described as "the worst deal ever", some of the Manus refugees will be going to the United States.
Ms Adern on the weekend blasted Australia's handling of the issue as unacceptable as she continues to to push New Zealand's offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centres.
Water and electricity to the centre were disconnected two weeks ago after Australian security withdrew and the camp closed on October 31.
Australia has announced it will deliver a new undersea, high-speed telecommunications cable from Australia to Papua New Guinea.
Manus Island refugees said they were advised on Saturday by officials their eviction deadline would be extended another 24-hours, by which point they would be forcibly removed from the processing camp which had been without food, water or medical supplies for almost two weeks.