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Vietnam Vets Vindicated

Judith Collins
MP for Clevedon
4 December 2003

Vietnam Vets Vindicated

A report presented to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee inquiry into Agent Orange has shown previous reports to be completely inaccurate, says National MP, Judith Collins.

The report, presented to the committee by the deputy chief of the Army, Brigadier Rick Ottaway, and retired Colonel Ray Seymour, shows that the soldiers probably came into contact with areas sprayed with defoliants 356 times.

More than 1.8 millions litres of Agents Orange, White and Blue were sprayed in Phouc Tuy province, where a majority of New Zealand troops served, between November 1965 and June 1968, the report says.

Ms Collins says the evidence is irrefutable and it is time the Government condemned the Macleod and Reeves reports once and for all.

"The Ministries of Veterans' Affairs and Health should admit they were wrong in accepting these clearly inadequate reports. And yet they continue to back them, though there is now clear evidence to the contrary."

The Macleod report concluded that no serial spraying took place in Phouc Tuy province, an assertion that has long been contested by veterans.

"Now there is evidence compiled from information held by the Defence Force to prove they did come into contact with Agent Orange. It's just a shame it took 30 years to finally prove it."

Ends

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