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


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news