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Dioxin: What's the rush?

24 July 2007

What's the rush?

The Green Party is disappointed by the ridiculously tight time frame that has been placed on the consultation with dioxin victims as announced by the Ministry of Health, and is calling on the Minister to intervene.

"It's extraordinary that after 45 years of procrastinating on the issue the Government believes it can adequately conduct consultation with those who lived near the Ivon Watkins-Dow plant in New Plymouth, and who may now be scattered around New Zealand and the world within three weeks," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Given how long it has taken for successive Governments to acknowledge and take action on this issue, the unseemly haste to get it off the table is inappropriate. A more considered approach is vital.

"A 19 day timeframe for discussion, consultation and feedback sends a worrying message to those who have suffered from this insidious poison, and their families.

"The information released on the 19th of July warned those not already alerted to contact the consultants handling the process immediately should they wish to attend the public meeting being held less than a week later. Furthermore, all submissions on the proposed health support services have to be made by the 8th of August.

"The history of this case is one of missteps, cover-ups and errors. Now's the time to try and set this right, rather than bungling the process with a belated sense of urgency.

"I am calling on the Minister not to rush this process through. The people of Paritutu and surrounding areas deserve better," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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