Māori Vietnam Veterans
2007 - 2008 | Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and Te Atawhai o Te Ao
The project was developed as a result of discussions with Māori Vietnam Veterans living in Whanganui. The project involved the gathering of fourty one Māori Vietnam veterans experiences on film. The interviews were conducted in Kaitāia, Kaikohe, Auckland, Whakatāne, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Whanganui. Each Veteran spoke for one to two hours about their early life, enlistment, army training, experiences in Vietnam, observations of aerial spraying, combat duties, comradeship, returning home, health of themselves and whānau since returning from Vietnam.
The Vietnam veterans had suffered ill health as a result of their service in Vietnam. Veterans felt strongly that their health problems and those of their children and grandchildren were related to the impacts of exposure to Agent Orange.
Testimonies were gathered for two reasons:
- Most importantly, film testimony enables future generations of a veteran to be able to hear their war and health experiences first hand and this was particularly important because of the health impacts on children and grandchildren; and
- Secondly, the aim was broadly educational, to create an archive of the veterans health during and after the war.
The films have been deposited into the New Zealand Film Archives in Wellington, New Zealand as a collection. They are available as references only. Viewing can occur either in Wellington or at other centres where the Film Archives has outposts.
Researchers: Dr Cherryl Smith, Dr Paul Reynolds, Justin Gush, Berend Quirke, Tanima Bernard.
Ka Rongo Te Pakanga Nei: Māori Vietnam Veterans and Whanau Perspectives on the impacts of involuntary chemical exposure, and the broader effects on the war by Dr Paul Reynolds and Dr Cherryl Smith.