Government challenged to provide better care for ex-servicemen

By Mere McLean

Maanu Paul wants better care for the remaining ex-servicemen and their families. 

His claim, on behalf of his late brother, ex-serviceman Lance Corporal Patariki Mikaere Hohepa Paora, is set to be presented to the Waitangi Tribunal at the 4th Wai2500 Military Veterans hearings in Whakatāne. 

The marae was packed with supporters, but Maanu Paul says when servicemen returned from war there was little generosity from the government.

Maanu Paul claims Māori were sent to war and when they returned they didn't receive help. He says no government in the past or now has helped returned servicemen.

Maanu is set to present on Wednesday on behalf of the family of his late younger brother, Lance Corporal Patariki Mikaere Hohepa Paora.

His brother returned from the war, but is now deceased.   

Maanu Paul says when his brother returned, his wife said that he was not the same man she married.  He had returned a different person. He would cry out at night. 

A large number of claimants say they were adversely affected by toxins during the Vietnam War and those toxins have filtered down to their families.

Ex=serviceman Hemana Waaka says,  “The government's stance on widows and children was not supportive. Many of my friends died from the toxins they were exposed to in the Vietnam War.”

The hearing closes on Wednesday.

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