NZ refugee deal 'pointless', critics say

AAP

New Zealand's agreement to take 150 refugees from Australian detention centres is "pointless" and will just force more asylum seekers onto boats, Greens and refugee advocates say.

The deal was announced after bilateral talks between Julia Gillard and her New Zealand counterpart John Key, with the Australian prime minister casting it as a regional solution to the problem of people-smuggling.

But Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young attacked the agreement to resettle 150 refugees each year, saying "this isn't a regional solution; this is a bandaid cover-up for Julia Gillard for what a failure Manus Island and Nauru have been".

"This just shows what a failure Manus Island and Nauru have been," she told reporters in Canberra.

"It's not going to save lives, in fact it is going to put more lives at risk.

"More people will be taking dangerous boat journeys as a result of less people being resettled directly (from Malaysia and Indonesia)."

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