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National's Contrariness An Insult To Vets

17 February 2005

National's Contrariness An Insult To Vets

New Zealand First says that calls by National Party former health spokesperson Judith Collins for an apology and compensation for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange are blatant politicking.

“The New Zealand First minority report, which demanded a formal apology and consideration of compensation for victims, was thrown out by the select committee hearing the inquiry. Ms Collins, who claims credit for forcing the inquiry, voted against it, as did all members except for the Green Party member,” said New Zealand First select committee member Pita Paraone.

“If she was that serious about gaining an apology for the veterans, the opportunity was there last year during the inquiry to put her money where her mouth is. Instead, she voted against our report, having previously accepted a medal from the vets for her ‘support’.

“In view of this fact, I find her current calls for an apology to be obnoxious.

“Unlike the National member, New Zealand First has been consistent in its calls for fair and just treatment of Vietnam veterans and their families. We insist, and have done so from the outset, that this must include a formal apology and compensation,” said Mr Paraone.”


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