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NZ First Calls For Release Of Chemical Documents

10 January 2005

NZ First Calls For Release Of Chemical Documents

New Zealand First has called on the Government to release all official documents relating to the export of Ivor Watkins Dow chemicals that could have been used to manufacture the defoliant agent orange.

Defence spokesperson Ron Mark says it has been proved that New Zealand soldiers who served in Vietnam came in contact with the defoliant and it is important to ascertain if they were affected by chemicals made in their own country.

“It should be very simple to find out whether chemicals manufactured in New Zealand were exported to United States facilities to create agent orange.

“There should be some very clear papers trails leading from the company office in New Plymouth through customs and in various freight documents that should still be available.”

Mr Mark says there should also be cabinet records of the years 1965-72 when the chemicals were manufactured and exported under the National government of the time.

“There has always been a strong suspicion that a company in New Zealand helped make agent orange and we need to confirm this one way or the other.

“Successive National and Labour governments have failed to look at this sorry chapter in our history and it is time they re-opened the old files and explained what really happened,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS


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