10 January 2005
New Zealand First says the latest revelations in the agent orange saga show that successive National and Labour governments have kept passing the buck over the shabby treatment of Vietnam veterans.
This follows reports that officials will investigate a statement by government minister and New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven that Ivor Watkins Dow exported the components of the defoliant Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War.
Veterans affairs spokesperson Bill Gudgeon says it is shameful that despite all the evidence presented to various parliamentary committees, some vital facts about the manufacture of the chemicals have been kept from the public and particularly the Vietnam veterans.
“Incidents of ill health at Paritutu have highlighted some of the concerns of the veterans and this cannot simply be coincidence.
“The soldiers who came into contact with agent orange have been caught in no-man’s land, continually denied compensation by successive governments which have refused to look closely at what happened in this country during the time of the Vietnam war.
“It is time for some questions to be answered and time for the old files to be reopened so the truth can come out for the sake of everyone – especially the veterans and their families,” said Mr Gudgeon.
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10 January 2005 | Press Release | New Zealand First Party | Original Source | NEWS-2005-M01-10-002