Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt Must Take Responsibility For Dioxin Exposure

Government Must Finally Take Responsibility For Dioxin Exposure

Green MP Sue Kedgley today said it is finally time for the Government to take responsibility for the fact that over many years thousands of New Zealanders have been exposed to unacceptably high levels of dioxin.

"Successive Government's have turned a blind eye to industrial activities that produce dioxins and have allowed heavily polluting industries such as timber mills and chemical factories to operate in an almost unregulated fashion - even after being warned of the dangers of dioxins," said Ms Kedgley.

"When concerns were first raised about the possible health effects of exposure to dioxins, Governments repeatedly assured New Zealanders that there were no adverse health effects from exposure to low levels of dioxins."

Ms Kedgley said that having put the health of thousands of New Zealanders at risk through previous neglect - and having falsely assured people that there was no health risk from exposure to dioxins - the Government now had to accept responsibility for dioxin related illnesses.

"The Government needs to face up to the compensation issue for all New Zealander workers, such as timber workers and Vietnam Vets, who were occupationally exposed to unacceptably high levels of dioxin, if they are shown to have suffered adverse health effects as a result," she said.

"Residents near chemical plants, such as those in the residential suburb of Paritutu in New Plymouth, should also be eligible for compensation if they are found to have an unacceptably high dioxin body burden and to have suffered adverse health effects as a consequence."

Ms Kedgley said the first step had to be an adequate testing programme to find out the contaminants that people had been exposed to and the level of dioxins remaining in their bodies.

Ms Kedgley said while she welcomed the Government's intention to blood test residents who lived near the former Ivon Watkins Dow Factory and to study the health of timber workers who were exposed to PCP's, additional testing on soil and for health effects needed to be done urgently.

Sue will be speaking on the issue of dioxins in Parliament's General Debate (slot 3) this afternoon - speech available on request

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6728, 025 270 9088 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election