Saturday, June 07, 2008

Kelley: New Zealand Government Apologizes to their Vietnam Veterans and Families

This just in from friend Kelley of 2nd Battalion 94th Artillery website

New Zealand Government Apologizes to their Vietnam Veterans and Families

Entire NZ Gov apologizes to Vietnam Veterans.

The links below document the formal apology by the New Zealand Prime Minister and both Parties of government for lack of recognition and lack of recognition by prior administrations of herbicide damages for their Vietnam Veterans, as well as their families.

The links take time to down load.

New Zealand Prime Minister [link no longer valid 06/02/2012]

The National party’s response  [link no longer valid 06/02/2012]

Minor party responses 
[link no longer valid 06/02/2012]

{Thanks to Australian Vietnam Veteran Rifleman “Bob Gibson” - Vietnam Vet 67-68 for sending the links.}

While our own nation historically has been less than stellar in its admittance of "all" herbicide damages both to the Veteran and his family as well; and the interference of previous administrations in recognizing known facts. In fact, history demonstrates White House directed interference and a congress that would not address the issues even though they admitted the facts in published house reports such as HR 101-672. … The Agent Orange Cover-up: A Case of Flawed Science and Political Manipulation. Yet, still nothing was done and very little has been done today in the admittance of all the facts and outcomes using various "less than transparent" methodology.

HR 101-672 was released in August 9, 1990 and the flawed science has finally been fully documented that Ranch Hand Study the so called “gold standard” was so flawed and so many wrong assumptions were made it missed an entire doubling of cancers associated to the single dioxin, TCDD. We at this point have no idea with the flawed assumptions what other statistics were driven towards null and still being used as denial tools by VA/IOM.

However, as bad or “less than stellar” our own government has been in its treatment and recognition of Vietnam Veterans it pales in comparison with the treatment of the New Zealand Government and their lack of recognition of even have been exposed. Denying that fact for over 40 years.

While it is too late for many New Zealand Veterans to see vindication and recognition of honorable service; I can only hope that their Vietnam Veterans and their families can finally take some solace from these total government apologies and admittance of prior government transgressions against the most noble of all citizens of any Nation.

My congratulations to Lindsey and all the New Zealand Vietnam Veterans and their families in their hard fought battle for recognition and hope that at least mentally they can find some comfort in vindication after over 40 years of struggles.

My opinion only…it is too bad our own government and others as well do not have the same intestinal fortitude in their convictions as the New Zealand Government in admitting their mistakes and previous transgressions for which their Veterans paid dearly.

Thanks Kelley. You are correct, it is to the utter shame of a President and a Congress that our own Veterans are still forced to fight tooth and nail for benefits derived from their service to the country.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield." -- VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -- President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.


  1. Anonymous11:57

    Again, not taking anything away from the NZ Vets or the belated recognition by their government but what does it have to do with the Blue Water VN Vet???

    For all the rhetoric, all the NZ government is doing in regard to agent orange (at least from what I could tell by the videos) is pretty much what our Congress did in 1991. I have no idea if they include their blue-water RNZN vets;

    Our government will look at this and say "Well, at last they are doing for their VN vets what we did 17 years ago" and, technicaly, they will be correct.....We need to be there to counter with "Yes they are.....wonder if they plan to let THEIR Veterans Affairs people subvert their intent like we did?"

  2. Actually, this has much to do with the Blue Water Navy. The New Zealand Government, and the government of Australia are paying their sailors who are Vietnam Veterans for Agent Orange exposure.

    Now they are doing something our government has yet to do: Apologize for unleashing Agent Orange on the world, and on our own troops.

    It is unlikely they ever will, as it will acknowledge liability. The NZ and Australians have already done that and are paying.

    Our government continues to run from its responsibilities.

  3. Anonymous12:21

    Sorry, I watched the videos and the main thrust of the apology was for sending their troops to VN in the first place...where they faced things like mean ol' VC and agent orange. If our DVA wasn't bent on subverting the 1991 law by excluding everyone they can from it's provisions none of this would be happening..... do YOU feel our government should make a public apology to VN vets for sending them to Vietnam???

  4. I think you missed the point of the videos. There was no apology for sending the troops to Vietnam. The apologies were for the treatment of the Veterans when the came home and for denying the effects of Agent Orange, and for providing support for those who did.

    In listening to the Prime Minister, I could only sit there and wonder why my own government has not uttered those same words.