7 Apr 2014

Offer made to Vietnam veteran

9:24 pm on 7 April 2014

Veterans' Affairs has offered to reimburse the costs of a Vietnam veteran who needed an urgent stomach examination and who has taken them to court.

Walter Te Ua and his wife Lynette Stankovich.

Walter Te Ua and his wife Lynette Stankovich. Photo: RNZ / Anne Marie May

Father Walter Te Ua accuses unit, which is part of the Defence Force, of breaching its statutory duty and negligence and is seeking a judicial review.

Mr Te Ua, who is dying from prostate cancer, suffers digestive problems and reflux as a result of conditions he experienced during the Vietnam War.

In 2009, he sought help from Veterans' Affairs to pay for an an urgent gastroscopy, but it refused.

His lawyer told the High Court in Wellington on Monday the failure to pay was a mistake, as Mr Te Ua's reflux had already been accepted as attributable to his war service.

On Monday, a lawyer for Veterans' Affairs said the organisation would be happy to reimburse Mr Te Ua's costs, as long as it received documentation about the procedure.

About 30 other Vietnam veterans marched to the court in support of Mr Te Ua and prayed and sang a hymn before the hearing began.

The case continues on Tuesday.