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Vets Apology Not Enough - NZ First

15 December 2004

Vets Apology Not Enough - NZ First

New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark is urging the Government to pay compensation to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and to assist families with children suffering from health issues linked to the spray.

“The Minister’s belated apology falls well below what Vietnam veterans deserve,” said Mr Mark.

“Veterans have already had to fight to prove to the Government that they were exposed to Agent Orange during their service in Vietnam and despite all the evidence, the Government is still refusing to acknowledge the extent of harm caused to these veterans and their children.”

Mr Mark said he was disappointed that the select committee did not recommend extending the list of treatment for medical conditions suffered by veterans’ children.

“After a debate over the issue that has lasted far too long, the Government is adding insult to injury by offering a weak apology and absolving responsibility for the after effects that veterans and their families have to live with.

“More should be done for veterans’ children with conditions not currently covered by Government funding.

“It is imperative that the Government takes responsibility and accepts officially once and for all that these Vietnam veterans and their families deserve better treatment,” concluded Mr Mark.


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