Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear test veterans seek audience with prime minister over family health problems,

Nuclear test veterans seek audience with prime minister over family health problems, Stuff
Jimmy Ellingham, Apr 25 2021
Not many humans have seen flashes so bright that the bones of their hands become visible.

But it’s a vivid memory for veterans of Operation Grapple, Britain’s nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific in 1957/58, who are experiencing its continuing effects.

Kiwi sailors on the decks of the HMNZS Rotoiti and HMNZS Pukaki witnessed the atomic explosions and collected weather data from the area.

New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association acting chairman Teri Tahi, 82, thinks of the more than 500 Kiwi sailors involved in Operation Grapple, about 60 survive.

At the association’s formation in the 1990s it became clear many veterans were affected by cancer and other health problems.

The association long ago secured invalids’ pensions for veterans, and now its focus is getting help for health problems affecting veterans’ children and grandchildren.

The association’s previous chairman Roy Sefton, who died early this year, led the charge on this. Studies have shown the sailors suffered severe genetic damage that can lead to inter-generational problems, but there has been no recognition or apology from official channels.

Tahi has taken on Sefton’s mantle and wants an audience with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. First, he has requested a meeting with Veterans’ Affairs Minister Meka Whaitiri…………… Operation Grapple veterans are having a reunion in Auckland on May 14-15. Contact Gerry Wright at for more information.

April 25, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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