30 Mar 2009

Veterans exposed to nuclear tests want compensation

7:41 pm on 30 March 2009

Navy veterans exposed to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific in 1973 want compensation from the New Zealand Government.

The Mururoa Veterans Society includes people who served on two protest frigates deployed by the Labour Government.

The society says New Zealand, not France, should be liable for compensation for those it sent to the testing zone where explosions took place above Mururoa Atoll.

France is providing a multi-million dollar package for its own military personnel and civilians who were exposed to the atmospheric tests but has said it will not help New Zealand navy veterans.

The Mururoa Veterans Society says 90% of the people who were exposed to the nuclear tests have health problems and many have died of cancer-related illnesses.