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Govt seeks legal advice on court action

14 March 2001 Media Statement

Govt seeks legal advice on court action

The Government is seeking advice from the Crown Law Office following confirmation from the Wellington High Court that several Royal New Zealand Navy veterans have filed legal action, the Minister of Veteran's Affairs Mark Burton said.

"It would not be appropriate at this time to comment further on the legal claim.

"However, this Government has been working with the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans' Association, which represents the vast majority of Operation Grapple veterans and their families, to address their needs.

"Last year the Government gave the association a grant of $200,000, meeting a promise broken by the previous National Government.

"Another $100,000 has been allocated to co-ordinate research into the health status of the children of Vietnam and Operation Grapple veterans.

"And there has been support from the War Pensions Medical Research Trust Fund for research into health-related issues for Nuclear Test Veterans.

"RNZN veterans who observed British nuclear tests in the Pacific in the late 1950's are eligible for full coverage under the War Pensions Act 1954.

"They are eligible for a War Disablement Pension and reimbursement of medical expenses for disabilities that are deemed to be attributable to their service."

"I would encourage any veteran who has health concerns to contact the Office of Veterans' Affairs", Mark Burton said.


ENDS



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