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Vietnam inquiry has big questions to answer

Vietnam inquiry has big questions to answer

National MP Judith Collins has shown Veterans Affairs Minister George Hawkins the recently discovered US Army map that has sparked the Health Select Committee Inquiry.

It was this same map that Mr Hawkins originally claimed he had "some scepticism about", without having seen it first.

The man who discovered the map, Colonel John Masters (Ret), is owed an apology, says Judith Collins.

The long-forgotten map provides evidence of defoliant spraying in the area of Nui Dat in Vietnam where the New Zealand troops were stationed.

"I also understand that a file has now surfaced at Defence Headquarters admitting the exposure of New Zealand troops to Agent Orange, and that this information has not been available to previous inquiries.

"For more than 30 years veterans have been told that the spraying either did not occur or if any did, it was only in one incident. The terms of reference allow the Committee to find out the truth," said Ms Collins.

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