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


'Delay and deny until you die': Govt on dioxin

24 October 2006
'Delay and deny until you die' still Govt approach to dioxin

The official response to claims in a TV3 documentary that significant mistakes were made in a key study of dioxin contamination in New Plymouth has so far been predictable and grossly inadequate, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"So far, all we have heard is that the Ministry of Health will 'look into' the claims. After decades of denying and covering-up this issue, the public can have no confidence in the Ministry of Health objectively investigating itself. Any follow-up study now undertaken must be totally independent," Ms Kedgley says.

"We also need a formal apology from the Government for successive Governments' roles in systematically downplaying the health consequences of living near a dioxin plant, just as it apologised to veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam."

A forensic scientist hired by TV3 reviewed the earlier Ministry of Health report into dioxin contamination in New Plymouth. He found that ill-defined parameters, muddled reporting of facts and failure to show peer reviewers the original data downplayed the true extent of the dioxin contamination problem.

"Four years ago, Don Mathieson, Public Health Director at the Ministry of Health, promised residents at a community meeting in New Plymouth that if there was proof that Ivon Watkins Dow caused the problem, the Government would seek recompense and sue the company. It is time for the Government to make good on that promise," Ms Kedgley says.

"There is now irrefutable evidence that Dow knew 2-4-5-T was seriously contaminated with dioxin and could cause significant adverse health effects, yet it continued to use the chemical until 1987. Two reports by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research have found that people who lived near the Ivon Watkins Down plant between 1962 and 1987 had levels of dioxin in their bodies as high as some Vietnamese who were sprayed with Agent Orange, making contamination in New Plymouth one of the worst examples of dioxin contamination anywhere in the world.

"The Green Party is calling for the Government to undertake a six-point programme of response to this problem: a formal apology, legal action against the parent Dow Chemical company, a national register of current and former Paritutu residence with symptoms of dioxin poisoning, free healthcare and serum test for people on the register (and their children), an inter-generational study of the health effects independent of the Ministry of Health, and accident compensation to all former Dow employees who suffer health effects as a consequence of their work," Ms Kedgley says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news