Military maltreatment has generational effect
|18 Dec 2014 14:00 PM|
The New Zealand Maori Council is praising the Waitangi Tribunal for taking on a claim into the treatment of Maori military veterans.
A judicial conference was held yesterday to consider the scope of the claim and set a timetable for research and hearings.
Council co-chair Maanu Paul says Chief Judge Wilson Isaac is prepared to go to the heart of issues around the way government policies can affect the rights of indigenous people.
He says his own whanau has seen the impact, from Ngati Rangitihi ancestors who fought for the crown in the land wars and then saw their land confiscated, to relatives the first and second world war who were denied entry to the land ballots for returning servicemen.
Mr Paul says his brother who fought in the Vietnam War for both the New Zealand and Australian armies could not come home from Australia when he could not get treatment here for Agent Orange dioxin poisoning.
"The Australian government provided the medication so he stayed there until he died there, the whanau structure was ruined The second impact was on the whakapapa. He could not have any children after that because of the effects of Agent Orange. They got no treatment for depression, they got no counselling, they got no medication. They were thrown on the scrapheap," he says.
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