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


Vietnam Vet Treament Must Apply To All Occupations

Treatment For Vietnam Vets Must Apply To All Occupations

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today welcomed the Government's move to provide better health services for Vietnam veterans and their families.

"The Green Party is delighted that finally, after decades of neglect, something now looks like happening for Vietnam veterans and their families who continue to be haunted by the aftermath of their exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange," said Ms Kedgley.

But she called on the Government to extend the same recognition and compensation, including veteran pensions at the superannuation rate, to all servicemen and women who had become ill as a result of chemical, nuclear or biological exposure during their service in the military.

Ms Kedgley cited as an example servicemen who were aboard the HMS Otago and Canterbury which was sent to Mururoa to support a Greenpeace protest by the Labour Government in 1973.

"Many veterans who were on board the ship are seriously ill as a result of their exposure to nuclear radiation and some have already died," she said. "But none of them are even eligible for veterans pensions, despite the damage to their health caused in the course of their service on behalf of New Zealand. They are not covered under Section 80A of the War Pensions Act which would entitle them to a veterans pension. They cannot even be buried in a serviceman's grave. Nor do their surviving spouses have an entitlement to a pension.

"This is a scandal. We send men and women off to serve on our behalf, but when they become sick as a result of their service to New Zealand we do not compensate them properly," she said.

The Green Party also urged the Government to compensate a range of other New Zealanders who have been chemically exposed to dioxin and other chemicals in their jobs.

"Many timber workers are seriously ill as a result of their exposure to high concentrations of PCP's," she said. "These other individuals need the same recognition and assistance from this Government as our Vietnam veterans.

"We congratulate the Government for taking the issue of the Vietnam vets out of the too hard basket but we ask that the principle be applied fairly and to its logical conclusions."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news