30 years of neglect for Paritutu residents, report reveals
New Plymouth 9th September 2004 – A report released by the Ministry of Health today has confirmed that Dow is one of the largest historical polluters in New Zealand, says Greenpeace. Dioxin levels detected in Paritutu residents are up to fivefold our nation-wide levels which are second only to South Vietnam.
“This is a damning indictment of 30 years of neglect,” said Greenpeace toxics campaigner Mere Takoko. "We will be supporting the call made by the Paritutu Dioxins Investigation Network for an independent inquiry into the environmental and health abuse of Paritutu residents committed by Dow.”
Greenpeace also noted that the Ministry of Health’s consultation and delivery of a study on the blood serum levels of Paritutu was a fiasco. The media knew about the visit by the Ministry to New Plymouth before the people whose blood was tested. “We wonder who the Government is more concerned about: New Zealanders or Dow?”
"The ramifications of this issue spread far beyond Paritutu. This company has affected many groups such as railway workers, forestry workers and farmers," said Andrew Gibbs Researcher for the Paritutu Dioxin Investigation Network.
In what has been described by residents as the "second Vietnam," the company now faces undeniable charges of corporate crimes that compare with the scale of the South Vietnam.
"Dow’s parent company has been linked to human rights and environmental abuses throughout the world. They are currently under litigation for the Bhopal disaster, -here 3000 people were killed during the world’s largest chem. cal spill. They are also under litigation by the Vietnam Veterans in America and the Vietnamese," said Mere Takoko.
"The Government is driven by its financial interest of protecting its possible liability. Given that the Government was, in 1969, subsidising 116 Dow products, it has reason to be worried.”