Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today welcomed the report into the health of veterans’ children and said she hoped it provided them with assurance that the Government was listening to their concerns.
“They have waited a long time to be listened to,” Mrs Shipley said. “In setting up this inquiry the Government clearly signalled that we were determined to put this matter right. We will now carefully consider the recommendations in the report.
“The report will be an excellent foundation for the new Office of Veterans’ Affairs to work on,” Mrs Shipley said.
The committee, chaired by former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, investigated the possibility of links between the health of some veterans’ children and possible exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War and radiation while involved with British atmospheric nuclear tests in 1957-58.
It found no evidence of direct links but said it was impossible to rule out categorically. Because of long-held perceptions among some veterans, and because of the Government’s duty to look after military personnel, the committee recommended that children of veterans who believe they had been harmed by their service be eligible for medical care and counselling.
“We have listened to the concerns of those involved and we will move to put the matter right after we have considered the findings in the report,” Mrs Shipley said.
“Veterans and their children can be assured we will look at these recommendations very carefully.”
Published: 1999, June, 8. | By: Jenny Shipley | Prime Minister | Source: beehive.govt.nz | Title: Government Will Consider Report On Veterans