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National supports veterans’ demand for apology

National supports veterans’ demand for apology

After receiving nothing but empty words, it is time Vietnam veterans got the apology they want and deserve, says National MP Judith Collins.

She is commenting on an open letter sent by 740 Vietnam veterans and their families to Helen Clark, asking for a full and unqualified apology for the delayed recognition that they were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war.

Ms Collins was instrumental in forcing a select committee inquiry into Agent Orange, resulting in Labour issuing an apology that was viewed with cynicism by Vietnam veterans.

“Last year’s apology by press release did not go nearly far enough.

“Until now, Labour has offered nothing more than a pathetic, limp-wristed response which attempted to pacify the former servicemen and women and rewrite history,” says Ms Collins.

“Definitive action needs to be taken, along with an apology, to vindicate the veterans and their families and give them the closure they need.

“Labour needs to admit that the McLeod Report, which it stood by for so long, and which the select committee found to be massively flawed, is uniformly wrong. Standing by the report has been further insult to veterans.

“Their concerns have been swept under the carpet for too many years. It is time Labour afforded them the dignity they have long been denied, and let New Zealand know, once and for all, that they were right all along, says Ms Collins.

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