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


Hodgson should withdraw dioxin analyst

30 October 2006

Hodgson should withdraw dioxin analyst, correct confusions

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley has called on Health Minister Pete Hodgson to re-think and withdraw his choice of Dr.Allan Smith as the 'independent' expert appointed to review the findings of forensic accountant John Leonard, contained within the recent TV3 dioxin documentary.

"The expert must not only be independent, but must be perceived to be independent if his conclusions are to have any credibility with the Paritutu community. On that score, I was concerned to read the 1 June 2003 submission by retired Major John Moller to the Health Select Committee inquiry into the exposure of Defence Personnel to Agent Orange, which reports ( on pages 16-17) that the Environment Ministry had organised public lectures by Professor Allan Smith, Dr Michael Bates and other officials regarding dioxin concerns then in the public arena.

"This participation in Government programmes of re-assurances about dioxin should discount Dr Smith as an independent authority," Ms Kedgley says. .

"Mr Hodgson can only commence the corrective process by clarifying his apparently misleading statement to the House during question time on 26 October.that ' the anonymised data in question [ie the individual serum results from the 2005 MoH study] was provided to the international peer reviewers.'

"This is not what Public Health Director Dr Mark Jacobs says. In a letter posted on the TV3 website, and received one working day before the TV3 doco screened, Dr Jacobs states :"The local and international reviewers did not receive individual test results contained in appendix O, just the analysed data."

"Furthermore, I have sighted correspondence between the four international peer reviewers and the makers of the TV3 doco, and the reviewers either say that they were not given the individual serum results or, in one case, said they couldn't remember getting it. It is now up to Pete Hodgson to show that the international peer reviewers were given the individual blood serum results, since the credibility of his reassurances about the 2005 MoH dioxin study hinges on whether the peer reviewers considered all of the data.

"It would hardly be surprising that Mr Hodgson seems confused, because the Ministry's utterances contradict their own Public Health Director..The Health Ministry's 26 October press release for instance says : "Peer reviewers received the individual data for their review..." This is in clear conflict with what Dr Jacobs and the reviewers themselves are saying.

"Finally, can Mr Hodgson assure us that who-ever ultimately gets to carry out the overview report on the Paritutu situation will receive and consider the blood serum results? That anonymised individual data is crucial as to whether - as the TV3 documentary argues - some individuals were wrongly categorised. Clearly, such a step is essential if any definitive verdict is ever to be reached. To do less would be a whitewash, and a sheer waste of taxpayer money." "


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election