Asylum seekers not welcome in NZ - Key

A boat carrying about 85 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, apparently bound for New Zealand, has been detained in Indonesia.

The Indonesian navy intercepted the boat on Saturday, and it was now understood to be tied up an port in Tanjung Pinang.

Photographs show people on the boat waving New Zealand flags and holding signs saying their future is in New Zealand.

Speaking at a post-cabinet press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister John Key confirmed the incident, but said he did not know what would happen to the boat now.

"Our very simple message to them is they are not welcome here," Mr Key said.

"It confirms what I've been saying for some time; it's only a matter of time before large vessels, steel-hulled vessels capable of navigating their way to New Zealand or Canberra or far away parts of the world, would try and make their way here, and it's vehemently possible that this boat was intending to do that."

Mr Key said there was no chance those people would be let into New Zealand under other refugee quotas.



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