As a Vietnam veteran I’ve been immersed in the Agent Orange debate for decades, but mostly as an observer. For a while I tried convincing some of my mates that trying to prove that Agent Orange was responsible for the many ailments and conditions of Vietnam veterans, their children and grandchildren. was counter-productive. I thought that we would have been better off going to Government for a “fair go”, rather than trying to force them to accept a cause and effect relationship. No-one was listening.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I was drawn back into the debate after the WAI 2500 series of claims began to be heard by the Waitangi Tribunal in 2015, and on into 2016. I appeared as a witness early in July at Tuahiwi Marae in Christchurch. Since then I have been researching the history, politics and science of the whole issue, in anticipation of being recalled for cross examination by the claims panel, claimants’ lawyers, and Crown lawyers.
At the Tribunal (4-6 July 2016)