Parliament

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

 

Minister releases historic Agent Orange papers

Fri, 28 Jan 2005

Defence Minister releases historic Agent Orange papers
---------------------------------

Minister of Defence, Mark Burton yesterday released papers from the Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force archives relating to allegations about the manufacture of Agent Orange in New Zealand.

"I instructed Defence officials to conduct a search of historical records and files for any material relevant to this issue. I am releasing all the documents today," Mark Burton said.

"Most of these papers are already in the public arena as they were originally released in 1989 in response to an Official Information Act request or were part of the Ministry of Defence submission to the Select Committee Inquiry in 1989."

"The issue received extensive media coverage during 1989 and 1990 and again in 1998 and 2001, and recent publicity does not seem to have provided any new documented information or insight.

The papers include correspondence among National Cabinet Ministers and officials about the possible supply of defoliants to the US military in 1967. While National Ministers were clearly enthusiastic about the possibility, this apparently did not occur because the quantity of defoliants that could be produced was deemed to be too little and in any event transportation of the material was likely to cause problems.

In 1998 both the NZ Herald and NZ Listener wrote about the issue in some detail.

"In the apparent absence of any new evidence it seems that the 1989 Select Committee inquiry still provides the most comprehensive response to the question of whether or not Agent Orange was manufactured in New Zealand," Mark Burton said.

The 1990 Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee inquired into the alleged Manufacture of Agent Orange by Ivan Watkins Dow in New Zealand during the period of the Vietnam War. The committee came to the conclusion that evidence as to whether Agent Orange was manufactured during the Vietnam War was inconclusive.

Their examination of the evidence at the time confirmed that Ivan Watkins Dow shipped some material to the United States during 1967 and 1968 but that it was not the type used in, or capable of being converted to the type used in, Agent Orange.

Papers released include:

· The documents originally released in 1989 under the Official Information Act · The report of the 1990 Select Committee Inquiry · Submissions to the Inquiry

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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>>

ALSO:


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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election