Football greats want refugees sent to NZ

Sonny Bill Williams and Craig Foster say 'a swipe of the pen' would let refugees resettle in NZ.
Sonny Bill Williams and Craig Foster say 'a swipe of the pen' would let refugees resettle in NZ.

Football greats Craig Foster and Sonny Bill Williams have joined forces to urge the prime minister to send hundreds of refugees to New Zealand.

The pair descended on Parliament House in Canberra to ask Scott Morrison to accept New Zealand's longstanding resettlement offer.

They were joined by a gaggle of Labor and crossbench politicians.

Williams, who has played professional rugby league on both sides of the ditch, said the coronavirus pandemic had given people a tiny glimpse of what detained refugees had endured.

"We're up in arms to do quarantine for two weeks, imagine doing it for seven years plus, but with no end in sight," he said.

"There's a solution, New Zealand want to take them, we just need the people in power to say yes and let them go."

New Zealand has offered to take 150 refugees per year from Australia's offshore processing centres since 2013.

The coalition government is yet to accept the offer.

Foster, a former Socceroo, said it was past time to resettle refugees stuck in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

"After almost eight years, let them get on with their lives," he told the prime minister.

"With the swipe of a pen, you can let almost 300 people offshore get to safety and be able to get on with their lives."

More than 60,000 people have signed an Amnesty International petition calling on Mr Morrison to seal the deal.

Australian Associated Press