New Zealand government to release Agent Orange report

STUFF.CO.NZ, MAY 11, 2006
The Government intends to release in full the report into the exposure of Vietnam War veterans to Agent Orange, a spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Rick Barker said today.
However, submissions on the report would not be released unless the people who made them gave their consent.
Today National’s Judith Collins said the report should be released unedited immediately.
“Veterans deserve to know now what the report recommends. They should not have to wait months for their own report.
“With the report now complete, it’s time for some decisive action.”
Mr Barker’s spokesman said the working group advising the Government on the issue presented it to his minister and Defence Minister Phil Goff on April 27.
The ministers were now considering the report and would release it and their opinion on its recommendation.
Privacy concerns meant submissions would not be released for 30 years unless those who made them gave permission.
The working party is headed by former State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham.
It was established by the Government following a 2004 parliamentary health select committee report which found that New Zealand soldiers were exposed to a toxic environment, including Agent Orange and other chemicals, while in Vietnam.
AGENT ORANGE REPORT MUST BE RELEASED UNEDITED, SAYS NATIIONAL PARTY
11 May 2006
Veterans Affairs Minister Rick Barker must make good on his promise to release the unedited report into the exposure of Vietnam War veterans to Agent Orange, says National’s Veterans Affairs spokeswoman, Judith Collins.
The working group tasked with advising the Government on the issue has today reported back to the Government.
In Parliament last month, Mr Barker assured Ms Collins that the report would be made public as received by the Government.
Ms Collins says it’s essential that this is the case.
“The health of our war veterans and their children is too serious an issue to be censored by the Government.
“Veterans deserve to know now what the report recommends. They should not have to wait months for their own report.
“With the report now complete it’s time for some decisive action,” says Ms Collins.

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