Barnaby Joyce has warned New Zealand to mind its own business on border protection after its prime minister offered to take 150 refugees from Manus Island.
Jacinda Ardern’s offer has been repeatedly rejected by the Turnbull government over concerns it might provide a back door into Australia.
Asked whether New Zealand should back off, Australia’s deputy prime minister told Kiwi radio station Newstalk ZB: “It’s best if you stay away from another country’s business.”
“Because otherwise they will return the favour at a time they think is most opportune for them.”
Mr Joyce, who was recently re-elected to his NSW seat of New England after being disqualified for holding New Zealand citizenship, said other countries must be allowed to sort out their own issues.
“If you’re going to talk to them at all, talk to them quietly and discreetly off the record, not by telephone and not by TV,” he said.
The Nationals leader said a tough border protection policy was important to stop boat arrivals dying at sea.
“You’ve got to have control of your borders otherwise the people in your country will just not vote for you,” he said.