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


Media release - Health Committee

6 October 2004

Media release - Health Committee

Inquiry into the exposure of New Zealand defence personnel to Agent Orange and any related health effects

New Zealand defence personnel who served during the Vietnam War were exposed to a toxic environment, a Health Committee report has found.

The committee launched its inquiry in April 2003, after new evidence came to light that had not been considered by previous reports on the health outcomes for New Zealand Vietnam veterans.
The inquiry examined evidence that New Zealand troops were exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliant chemicals and evaluated two reports that had previously guided government policy on the issue. The committee assessed international research literature on the topic of exposure, in terms of its health effects on veterans and their families, and the current levels of health services available.

Committee chairperson Steve Chadwick notes that the committee acknowledged the New Zealand's veterans were exposed to a toxic environment during their Vietnam service. "We consider it important to finally resolve this issue for the benefit of veterans and their families by acknowledging that New Zealand troops were exposed to a toxic environment during their service. Vietnam veterans have struggled for this recognition and we consider that it is overdue."

Other recommendations suggest changes to the way veterans' health services are delivered, ensuring that the health needs of Vietnam veterans and their families are met more effectively. "We recommend that Veterans Affairs New Zealand develop an information package that clearly advises veterans about the services available, as we are concerned that such information is not readily available and may affect veterans ability to access essential health services" Mrs Chadwick says.

The committee has also considered the role of future research into dioxin exposure, and mechanisms to ensure that international research literature is monitored, scrutinised, and analysed to ensure that the health needs of New Zealand Vietnam veterans and their families continue to be met in an appropriate way. "We want to learn from the lessons of past mistakes by ensuring that research literature is scrutinised and factored into policy affecting veterans' health".

The committee also made recommendations relating to the commissioning of research, when that research covers multiple government agencies.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election