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Hawkins Makes Mark See Red Over Agent Orange

Hawkins Makes Mark See Red Over Agent Orange

New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark has criticised the Veterans Affairs Minister’s reaction to the evidence released by retired Army officer, John Masters, showing that the defoliant agent orange was used in Phuoc Tuy province in Vietnam.

“Only two days after Labour MPs were commending veterans for their valued service at ANZAC services across the country, this Government showed its true colours over veteran’s affairs.

“George Hawkins reaction, questioning the credibility of the map released by Colonel Masters, which contradicts the Government-funded McLeod report, is utterly despicable,” said Mr Mark.

“Having served in Burnham alongside Colonel Masters, who was awarded a Military Cross for bravery in action, I have no doubt as to who is the most credible.

“Dr Deborah McLeod’s conclusions were disputed from the very day her report was released and the research has long since been discredited.

“The Vietnam Veteran’s Association has always claimed that it was faulty and the author, Dr Deborah Challinor debunked the findings in her book ‘Who’ll stop the rain’?

“More importantly, the very men who served in the Phuoc Tuy area refute the report’s claims.

“It’s time to put a stop to hollow promises and concocted reports. Mr Hawkins should apologise to John Masters and the McLeod report needs to be filed in the rubbish bin,” said Mr Mark.

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