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Sorry Agent Orange Saga Unresolved

16 December 2004

Sorry Agent Orange Saga Unresolved

New Zealand First veterans’ affairs spokesperson Bill Gudgeon says Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange have been grossly short changed by the Government.

“Four years after reports were first released about the health effects of Agent Orange on those who served in Vietnam, a select committee inquiry’s criticism of previous dubious findings may have raised the hopes of those veterans and their dependents who had long been suffering ill-health.

“Some of them are no longer with us, and all have been short changed.

“Their battles for recognition and justice following on from their battles for their country have not been honoured by the superficial apology offered by the Government,” Mr Gudgeon said.

“Worse, they are being asked to struggle on, suffering from the effects of the millions of litres of defoliant sprayed over Vietnam. It was a strategy aimed at depriving the Viet Cong of food and cover that also deprived some of our veterans and their families the kind of life they fought for.

“That this sorry saga remains unresolved is a reflection on a mean spirited Government that would rather keep its windfall tax take for election year bribes instead of serving up a little bit of commonsense justice to those who served us so well,” concluded Mr Gudgeon.

ENDS

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