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Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange

#21 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 11:50 PM

NZ supplied Agent Orange: Vietnam vet
16 October 2004

New Zealand is being accused of committing a war crime during the Vietnam war by conspiring to supply Agent Orange.

John Moller, a past president of the Vietnam Veterans' Association, has filed the allegation with Attorney-General Margaret Wilson.

Mr Moller, of Kawerau, said New Zealand had breached international law when it conspired to supply the defoliant.

"I presented evidence to the parliamentary select committee on Agent Orange that documents existed showing MPs and the Defence Department conspired to supply defoliants.

"In the documents the air force is asked by two MPs, the late David Thompson and Jack Marshall, how much profit would be made from flying defoliant manufactured in New Zealand to Vietnam using military C130 aircraft."

Mr Moller said that under the Geneva accords it was illegal to use chemicals to kill plant life in warfare and to conspire to supply such chemicals.

Mr Moller said the air force responded to the MPs' request by saying the chemical could be made but that military aircraft would not always be available so Air New Zealand should be approached.

A spokeswoman for Ms Wilson's office confirmed it had received Mr Moller's documents.

It had passed them on to Defence Minister Mark Burton's office.

In 2001 Investigate magazine's Ian Wishart and Simon Jones interviewed a former executive from Ivon Watkins Dow, the manufacturers of 2-4-5-T and 2-4-D, the ingredients of Agent Orange.

The unnamed executive said Agent Orange was manufactured in New Zealand, and transported via Mexico to Vietnam to disguise the source.

Mr Moller believed this was clear evidence of a Government conspiracy and that it went a long way to explain the 30-year denial of Kiwi troops being sprayed in Vietnam.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/search/1,1441...earchId=2525325
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Posted 10 December 2004 - 08:39 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: John Moller
To: Steve Chadwick
Cc: judith collins ; sue kedgley ; Pita Paraone ; Bill Gudgeon ; Ron Mark MP ; judy turner
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 8:37 PM


Hi Steve. One noted with interest the TV coverage tonight of the passage of the "Civil Union Bill" and all the kissie kissie stuff and trays of champagne in Parliament at this huge victory for New Zealand Society and the social engineering which led to this bun fight.

For the second time I am asking you again when Cabinet might report back on the Agent Orange Inquiry? I point out to you that since the Select Committee completed it's hearings that at least another ten Vietnam era Veterans have become deceased.We are of course not very happy about that.

For the historical record I make the point to you as Chairman of the Select Committee that only one third of the evidence given to that political hearing has actually been published in the official Select Committee Report.You will also be aware that I have officially lodged a complaint with the Attorney General in regard to the commission of a probable War Crime by members of Parliament circa 1967 when attempts were made to supply Agent Orange to Vietnam for chemical warfare use.I note with interest that you have not communicated with me in regards to this matter and that Wilson as the Attorney General has passed the complaint to the Hon . Mark Burton as Min of Def.

I should also advise you as the Chairman of the Select Committee that I am now advised by media investigators that such supply through the Taranaki Port via the USA Military base in Subic Bay (the Phillipines) is now established.What that means Steve in legal terms is pretty serious and opens the avenue of Kiwi Veterans to make a large dent in Cullens clutch of monetary eggs.

My advice to you is that the Labour Government bites the bullet and sets the injustice rightI. If they do not then it would be right and proper for all of the vets and their families and wider friends to declare political war on Helen's stance.


Cheers and best wishes,


John A. Moller.
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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:22 PM

Govt responds toCommittee's Agent Orange Inquiry
Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 3:55 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

14 December 2004

Hon George Hawkins Minister of Veterans' Affairs

Government responds to Select Committee Agent Orange Inquiry

The government has today tabled in Parliament its response to the Report of the Health Select Committee Inquiry into the exposure of New Zealand defence personnel to Agent Orange and other defoliant chemicals during the Vietnam War and any health effects of that exposure.

In its response the government has acknowledged that Vietnam veterans have waited a long time to have their experiences in Vietnam heard.

Welcoming the outcome Veterans Affairs Minister George Hawkins says the government recognises the importance of understanding these experiences.

"I am very happy that I'm the Minister in charge in a government which has seen the need for these issues to be investigated and addressed.

"In light of the information made available resulting from the detailed research undertaken by the NZ Defence Force the government offers a formal apology to Vietnam veterans for the failure of governments in the past to recognise that the veterans were exposed to a toxic environment during their service in Vietnam.

"We already have support in place for Vietnam veterans and their families. Vietnam veterans who have disabilities which may be attributable to their service in Vietnam can make application for a war pension. In fact, New Zealand's war pension system is unique in that it is based on a reverse onus of proof where the presumption is that the disability arises from military service, unless it can be proven otherwise.

"Changes are being planned to streamline the war pensions process including a review of the process of referral to medical specialists. Any veterans who consider that their claims were not fairly considered in the past are able to request that their claims be reviewed.

"The children of New Zealand's Vietnam veterans who suffer from spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, acute myeloid leukaemia or adrenal gland cancer are able to access fully funded care for those conditions. The children are also able to access genetic counselling and support for any mental health issues they might have. This package of support for the children maintains parity with that offered to the children of Vietnam veterans in Australia. Additionally, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to monitor international research and the programmes of entitlements that are made available by other governments to the children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans.

"The announcement today recognises a very important phase in New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam conflict.

"The decisions the government has taken will give veterans an opportunity to reflect on the positive outcome of having their experiences heard and considered.


Questions & Answers

War Pensions · How many Vietnam veterans receive a War Disablement Pension?

Currently 1258 Vietnam veterans receive war pensions, approximately one third of the total number deployed to Vietnam. · What are the largest number of war pension claims made for?

The largest number of claims made by Vietnam veterans, 32%, are for hearing related disabilities. This is followed by orthopaedic conditions, 18%, related to operational activities such as carrying heavy loads and jumping from vehicles and aircraft. The third highest number of claims, 14%, is for psychiatric conditions. · How many war pension claims are made for the conditions on the American list?

New Zealand Vietnam veterans can and do apply for the conditions the American war pension system presumes to be service related for compensation purposes. These claims make up 2% of the total claims made. · How do Vietnam veterans make claims for disabilities caused by Agent Orange?

The New Zealand War Pension system is unique in that it does not restrict the claims that veterans can make to those on a specified list of disabilities.

The New Zealand war pension system works on the reverse onus of proof. Veterans can make claims for any disability they believe to be attributable to or aggravated by their service. Veterans are not required veterans to prove levels of exposure. · What happens if a veteran feel their war pension claim wasn't handled properly in the past? Any veteran who feels that their claim was not considered fairly in the past, resulting in their claim being declined, can provide information on the current status of their disability to the Secretary for War Pensions and request to have their claim reconsidered.

NZDF Research · What did the research done by the NZDF and submitted to the Health Select Committee conclude?

The New Zealand Defence Force research indicates that 1,822,856 litres of Agents Orange, Blue and White were sprayed in Phuoc Tuy Province during a 31 month window.

The New Zealand Defence Force research identified a total of 356 probable occurrences where New Zealand troops moved through areas that had been previously sprayed. One instance was identified where the location was sprayed at least 8 days before the New Zealand troops arrived in the location, 34 instances where the locations had been sprayed 1 to 6 months before the New Zealand troops arrived in the location, 48 instances where the locations had been sprayed 6 to 12 months before the New Zealand troops arrived in the location and 273 instances where the locations had been sprayed over 12 months before the New Zealand troops arrived in the location. · Doesn't the NZDF research prove that Vietnam veterans will be suffering from the affects of Agent Orange?

The New Zealand war pension system assesses claims on a case by case basis. This allows for recognition of the fact that individuals react differently to different physical and environmental conditions. Where there has been an impact on a veteran's health and well being they can access a war pension.

If a veteran has no current disabilities, they can claim if and when their health changes. There is no limit on when you can claim or how many disabilities you can claim for. · What is a war pension?

A war pension is a life time tax free payment that is designed to counter balance the impact a disability has on a veteran's quality of life. The award of a war pension for a specific disability entitles the veteran to have all health care costs met for disabilities that are attributable to, or aggravated by, their service.

All Vietnam veterans who have disabilities that are attributable to or aggravated by service can make application for a War Disablement Pension and have that tax free entitlement paid to them for life. They can review the level of that disability at any time and can make application for as many disabilities as they want.

Children · What healthcare do you offer to the children of Vietnam veterans whose health has been affected by their parent's service?

Children of Vietnam veterans currently receive fully funded access to care if they suffer from spina bifida and/or cleft lip/palate, acute myeloid leukaemia, adrenal gland cancer or any mental health issues. In addition genetic counselling is available to any children with on going concerns over the impact of latency. · Why aren't you covering all of the children's health problems?

The government has said that the list of conditions for which additional assistance is provided for the children of Vietnam veterans is not conclusive and has made a commitment to monitor international research and the programmes and entitlements made available to the children of Vietnam veterans by other governments.

Veterans' Affairs New Zealand has a register of Vietnam veterans' children and grandchildren. Families and children are encouraged to register their health problems. · How does that compare with Australia?

This package of assistance maintains parity with the support offered to the children of Vietnam veterans by the Commonwealth Government of Australia.

· What is case management?

Case management is a service that allows for all the care provided to a veterans and their family to be coordinated through one point of access. The case manager works with the veteran and their family and acts an interface between the veteran and publicly funded services. The case manager arranges for the services to be delivered and provides on going support.

Where a service is needed and not freely available, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand is able to fund some additional services.

http://www.scoop.co....0412/S00346.htm
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#24 User is offline   Easyrider 

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:23 PM

Govt to apologise to Vietnam vets over Agent Orange
14 December 2004
By SHARON LUNDY

The Government will finally apologise to Vietnam veterans for their exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants more than 30 years ago, Veterans' Affairs Minister George Hawkins said today.


The decision follows a report from Parliament's health select committee, released in October, which concluded "beyond doubt" that New Zealand defence personnel were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides.

Successive governments had denied for years the use of the spray caused any problems for the soldiers who served in Vietnam.

The committee did not recommend compensation or an apology but Mr Hawkins today offered the latter.

"In light of the information made available resulting from the detailed research undertaken by the New Zealand Defence Force the Government offers a formal apology to Vietnam veterans for the failure of governments in the past to recognise that the veterans were exposed to a toxic environment during their service in Vietnam," he said in a statement.

The Government also adopted the committee's recommendation that Veterans' Affairs develop an information pack which clearly advised Vietnam veterans about their entitlement to pensions and other services, and how to access them.

"To build on the work that has already been undertaken, (Mr Hawkins) has directed Veterans' Affairs New Zealand to develop a comprehensive communication strategy that, as its focus, ensures that veterans are aware of their entitlements and how to access these entitlements," the response said.

AdvertisementAdvertisementAs well, Veterans' Affairs would liaise with the New Zealand Medical Association and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners to develop information sheets on the possible impacts of service in a particular war or emergency.

The Government response concluded that Vietnam veterans had waited a long time to have their experiences heard.

"This Government recognises the importance of understanding these experiences and is the first government to see that these issues have been investigated and to develop a comprehensive picture of the degree of contamination of the environment in which New Zealand troops served in Vietnam," it said.
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#25 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:23 PM

Quote

What is case management?

Case management is a service that allows for all the care provided to a veterans and their family to be coordinated through one point of access. The case manager works with the veteran and their family and acts an interface between the veteran and publicly funded services. The case manager arranges for the services to be delivered and provides on going support.

Where a service is needed and not freely available, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand is able to fund some additional services.


the poor veterans. case management with winz = poverty lessons, very restricted access to financial and no help for medical, acc = exit at all costs, injured lose out all the way.
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#26 User is offline   Easyrider 

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  Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:26 PM

Hawkins said:-

"This Government recognises the importance of understanding these experiences and is the first government to see that these issues have been investigated and to develop a comprehensive picture of the degree of contamination of the environment in which New Zealand troops served in Vietnam," it said.



Utter utter crap...if it was not for the non Government Members of the Health Committee there would not have been any enquiry, they out voted the Government members to hold an enquiry
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Posted 14 December 2004 - 04:40 PM

PM refuses to give apology to Agent Orange vets
Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 5:08 pm
Press Release: ACT New Zealand

PM refuses to give apology to Agent Orange vets

Tuesday 14 Dec 2004

Rodney Hide - Press Releases - Other

In Parliament today ACT Leader Rodney Hide tried in vain to get Helen Clark to spit out an apology to those Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

"Veterans will be hugely disappointed that the Prime Minister has ducked for cover and wheeled out her Minister George Hawkins to offer a Clayton's apology and pay lip service. This is second rate. Those who served in such adverse conditions deserve better than some low-ranked Minister."

Mr Hide's comments follow the Government today tabling in Parliament its response to the Report of the Health Select Committee Inquiry into the exposure of New Zealand defence personnel to Agent Orange and other defoliant chemicals during the Vietnam War and any health effects of that exposure.

"I pushed for the Prime Minister to get to her feet in the House today. Instead, she stayed in her seat and ignored the opportunity. Veterans don't want weasel words from George Hawkins about how he's going to drag out these historic issues for even longer. Veterans want a straight-up formal apology now from this Government and given by Helen Clark.

"Tabling a report and walking away is not what this should be about. The veterans deserve real closure and only the Prime Minister can give it," said Mr Hide.

http://www.scoop.co....0412/S00355.htm
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#28 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 12:38 PM

15/12/2004
NewstalkZB
Vietnam veterans want the Government to offer its apology to Agent Orange victims as an appropriate public event.

The Government has announced it will formally apologise to the veterans for past governments' failure to recognise their exposure to the toxin.

Veterans' spokesman Chris Mullane says the apology should be given on an occasion similar to that when the Government apologised to the Chinese community for the way early Chinese migrants were treated.

He says it should be a public event where the statement could be accepted in good faith by both parties.

http://xtramsn.co.nz...3941827,00.html
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  Posted 16 December 2004 - 09:17 AM

Did you see TV1 7pm last night on the Ivor Watkins Dow workers trying to have dioxin tests. A private lab in NZ initially said yes and provided details of blood required then refused stating political interference. The lab in New Plymouth refused to take the required blood as 'they did not want to be involved'. Finally had they had blood taken and the specimans sent to Germany for testing. Results on TV1 7pm tonight.
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Posted 16 December 2004 - 09:21 AM

http://kin.net.au/go.../humanr.htm#Top


This is a good read.
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Posted 16 December 2004 - 12:23 PM

Here is one Vietnams Vets thoughts on the apology.


Subject: Apology





Now listen here all you ungrateful Vets. HOW DARE YOU put down the government. Don't you know that an apology is all you will ever get.?
HOW DARE YOU expect more!!!
Don't you know that a couple of hundred of convicted bits of shit got locked up on their own for a night or two and get lonely are more deserving than YOU?? Don't forget these low lifes only maimed raped and robbed ordinary citizens.....they didn't go where YOU WENT! OH no, we all know where you went, don't we??
All of these convicts are in line to get Mega Mega payouts and an apology ................
.............................AND YOU EXPECT THE SAME..........................
HOHOHO
Just take your apology all humbly like and go back to your sick beds and sick families etc and BE QUIET.................. you are afterall horrible Vietnam Vets. How could you try to blame us poor pollies for anything to do with YOUR CONFLICT.
Enjoy your Christmas Apology
Love
Helen and Cohorts
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Posted 16 December 2004 - 01:50 PM

Sorry Agent Orange Saga Unresolved
Thursday, 16 December 2004, 2:27 pm
Press Release: New Zealand First Party

16 December 2004

Sorry Agent Orange Saga Unresolved

New Zealand First veterans’ affairs spokesperson Bill Gudgeon says Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange have been grossly short changed by the Government.

“Four years after reports were first released about the health effects of Agent Orange on those who served in Vietnam, a select committee inquiry’s criticism of previous dubious findings may have raised the hopes of those veterans and their dependents who had long been suffering ill-health.

“Some of them are no longer with us, and all have been short changed.

“Their battles for recognition and justice following on from their battles for their country have not been honoured by the superficial apology offered by the Government,” Mr Gudgeon said.

“Worse, they are being asked to struggle on, suffering from the effects of the millions of litres of defoliant sprayed over Vietnam. It was a strategy aimed at depriving the Viet Cong of food and cover that also deprived some of our veterans and their families the kind of life they fought for.

“That this sorry saga remains unresolved is a reflection on a mean spirited Government that would rather keep its windfall tax take for election year bribes instead of serving up a little bit of commonsense justice to those who served us so well,” concluded Mr Gudgeon.

http://www.scoop.co....0412/S00428.htm
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Posted 20 December 2004 - 08:35 AM

Vietnam veterans may sue Government
20 December 2004

Vietnam veterans are looking into slapping the New Zealand Government with a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

They were incensed at getting nothing more than an apology from Prime Minister Helen Clark for their exposure to Agent Orange, former Vietnam Veterans Association president John Moller, of Kawerau, said.

The Government still had taken no responsibility or accountability for what had happened, Mr Moller said.

"What makes vets so angry is that the Government is compensating prisoners but won't do anything about the children of vets."

The veterans were now investigating suing the Government offshore because class (group) actions were not available in New Zealand courts, he said.

Decisions will be made early by the end of January.

"We intend hitting them hard. It will be a multi-million dollar claim," Mr Moller said.

Many vets' children had been born with defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate, and many daughters had endometriosis, a disease of the uterus. Heart problems were common, as was diabetes among the veterans themselves.

Former Vietnam War servicemen from the United States, Australia and New Zealand who suffered type II diabetes were now being given pensions, if they had no existing family link to the disease.

"They kept that pretty quiet," Mr Moller said.

The information which would have proved the New Zealand troops had been exposed had been in the hands of the Government 14 years ago, he said.

"And they are trying to say they have just realised we were exposed."

Heads should roll within the government departments which had the information, he said.

Australian vets' cancer statistics found the army's were 15-18 per cent higher than average, the air force was 10 per cent higher and the navy, whose ships collected toxic water from the rivers of the Mekong Delta, were 28 per cent higher.

And these figures were "a bit on the light side".

"They didn't count the 800 that died before 1982 when they did not have a central reporting system for cancers," Mr Moller said.

New Plymouth lawyer Barry Henderson said the New Zealand Government was likely to come under fire from more than its own Vietnam veterans.

"As I understand it, there's an American law firm from New York who are representing certain Vietnamese civilians who are suing the American Government for the use of Agent Orange," said Mr Henderson, himself a Vietnam vet.

He believed those American lawyers were also looking to sue New Zealand ... "because we apparently breached the Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of chemicals in warfare and against civilian populations".

Mr Henderson said the American lawyers were convinced there was a direct link between the manufacturing of chemicals by New Zealand and the spraying by the Americans, which breaches that protocol.

"To me, it would seem logical that if there was going to be a class action by the Vietnamese population, they would have New Zealand in its firing sights," he said.

"This is why successive governments for the last 30 years have been incredibly uncomfortable with the release of information relating to the use and manufacture of the ingredients for Agent Orange in New Zealand."

He said it appeared that Ivon Watkins-Dow plant in Penrose, Auckland, made 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, which was shipped to Mexico, where it was mixed.

The health select committee found in October that New Zealand troops were exposed to dioxin in Vietnam between June 1964 and December 1972.

The committee also called for support for veterans and their children who had illnesses caused by dioxin.

http://www.stuff.co....3440a10,00.html
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#34 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 08:36 AM

i think we all ought to support the vietnam veterans, and mount a cmapaign for all acc claimants to sue the govt for the willful damage they have allowed to be done.
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Posted 20 December 2004 - 11:35 PM

Blenheim man accepts apology over Vietnam
20 December 2004
by ROBERT SMITH

The Government's formal apology to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange has taken away all doubt about their 30-year fight for recognition of health problems, according to Marlborough veteran Terry Farrell.

Veterans Affairs Minister George Hawkins issued the apology as part of a response to October's health select committee finding that New Zealand troops had been exposed to chemicals during the conflict.

Mr Hawkins offered the apology for the "failure of governments in the past to recognise that the veterans were exposed to a toxic environment during their service in Vietnam".

Mr Farrell, an Ex-Vietnam Services Association war pensions advocate, said the apology had made up for past governments' indifference.

"At first I thought the apology was a little lethargic, but this government has done wonders for returned services and this is quite heartwarming.

"It's a relief and takes away all doubt that we've been talking hogwash for 30 years."

While other Vietnam veterans around the country have said the Government's move was purely spin, Mr Farrell said any effort was positive.
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He said the apology was a good first step and veterans could now move forward and focus on the health issues veterans and their children had suffered due to the exposure to chemicals.

They could now look at compensation, but Mr Farrell said cash settlements were not the most important thing.

"Money won't solve all our problems. We've got veterans who were traumatically affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam and making their lifestyle a little bit better is all you can ask."

In Mr Farrell's view, the next step needs to be a national survey of veterans to see how compensation would be handled.

"Now I would like to see a regional survey carried out to get a mandate for how we should deal with the issue.

"The terms of reference for the inquiry did not go into compensation, so it might take a few years, but we've moved that one big step."

Mr Farrell has suffered extensive health effects after serving in Vietnam for two years in the late sixties and has struggled to be accepted for a war pension to cover medical bills for more than 20 years, but he said the problem was nothing new.

"It's something that seems to happen to every veteran of every war. World War 1 veterans had the same sort of problems getting recognition for their health issues caused by the conflict they fought in."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/marlboroughex...15a6563,00.html
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  Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:49 AM

Sunday News January 9th Front Page, Headed a bloody scandal. Watch Helen and her cohorts deal with this one. I can't scan this and can't find a link. Can someone with a scanner get this paper and post it please. Worth getting out of bed early for a read.
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Posted 09 January 2005 - 10:08 AM

Orange admission makes pieces fit
Vietnam veterans say pieces of jigsaw now all fit with admission from govt minister NZ supplied Agent Orange
9 January 2005

Confirmation New Zealand was involved in supplying the deadly Agent Orange defoliant completes a jigsaw for Vietnam War veterans.

Transport Minister Harry Duynhoven has acknowledged the chemical was sent to a US base from Port Taranaki in the 1960s, after sighting documents produced by the veterans.

Veterans spokesman John Moller says it is only a partial victory in their decades-long campaign for recognition.

He says successive governments must have known what happened, and this may explain their reluctance to front up about the effect Agent Orange had on the soldiers.

He says it is too polite to say the veterans have been misled, because they have provided plenty of evidence in the past, and it has been ignored.

John Moller says families with affected children must be given compensation, and it is now up to individual veterans to decide if they want to pursue legal claims against the Crown.

He says he has had all the pieces of the jigsaw for a long time, but it has taken the help of a Sunday newspaper journalist to fit them together.

http://home.nzcity.c...lt.asp?id=46563
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#38 User is offline   flowers 

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 01:42 PM

I tried to look up Ivor Watking Dow on the internet .
No reply even went to maps of area plant seems to have dissappeared.
History; Non-existant.
Question: What was Bill Birch's relationship with this company?
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#39 User is offline   Easyrider 

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  Posted 09 January 2005 - 02:39 PM

http://xtramsn.co.nz...4004738,00.html
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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:51 PM

New Zealand: We were Agent Orange supplier
(Agencies)
Updated: 2005-01-09 10:49


New Zealand supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the Vietnam war, a New Zealand government minister has admitted.




The disclosure led to immediate claims that New Zealand was in breach of the Geneva convention and could face a flood of lawsuits from veterans and Vietnamese.



Sculptural works by Vietnamese students representing disabled child victims of the defoliant Agent Orange used by US army during the Vietnam War. [AFP]

Transport Minister Harry Duynhoven said the highly toxic chemical was sent to a United States base in the Philippines during the 1960s.


"The information that has been given to me is that products used to make Agent Orange were shipped from New Plymouth to Subic Bay in the Philippines," he told the Sunday News newspaper.


After nearly three decades of official denials, a high-level parliamentary committee formally acknowledged late last year that New Zealand soldiers in the Vietnam War were significantly exposed to Agent Orange, but no mention was ever made that the country was a supplier.


Some New Zealand veterans are seeking compensation for chronic illnesses suffered by them and their families.


Although the National Party was in power during the Vietnam War, Duynhoven said his current Labour government was responsible for setting the record straight.


"Any government has to deal with the situation it finds itself in and it's always a problem if previous governments leave a mess."


From 1961 to 1971, the US and South Vietnamese military sprayed millions of litres of toxic herbicides, mainly Agent Orange, over South Vietnam to destroy the vegetation used by communist forces for cover and food.


Hanoi says the defoliant has caused health problems for more than one million Vietnamese and continues to have devastating consequences.


A study released in August last year by scientists from the United States, Germany and Vietnam found that Agent Orange was still contaminating people through their food.


Dioxin, the defoliant's deadly component, can cause an increased risk of cancers, immunodeficiencies, reproductive and developmental changes, nervous system problems and other health effects, according to medical experts.




http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2...tent_407218.htm

From China.
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