Censored from NZ Television – Ivon Watkins Dow’s release of deadly 245T from 1962-81 in New Plymouth

“Also disturbing are the birth defects documented by a local midwife, and the fact that Ivon Watkins Dow continued to manufacture 2-4-5-T in New Zealand until 1987, making us the last country in the world to manufacture the dangerous substance.”
The Green Party NZ

[Photo Credit: Creative Commons]

Published on Apr 8, 2013

The TV 3 Exposé, initially broadcast then censored from NZ TV. A must see for any member of the public, this doco covers the exposure of the Paritutu and New Zealand community at large to the chemical 2-4-5-T, manufactured at Ivon Watkins Dow in New Plymouth between 1962-1981, and the disastrous effects it had on those exposed.

Further coverage was made by the Investigate magazine:


From Investigate


Outbreaks of rare diseases and tumours are appearing in clusters around New Zealand, close to chemical factories. Why doesn’t the Government want to investigate? Simon Jones discovers what the authorities don’t want you to know:

Walk down any street in New Plymouth and you will probably hear a mixture of coughing and spluttering. Look inside any school and there appears to be more special needs children than is the norm for a city the size of New Plymouth. It’s often been said that everyone knows someone with a serious disease, whether it be cancer or multiple sclerosis.

Bad luck? Possibly, but for the last 15 years a group of residents have turned scientists to uncover what they say is a national health scandal – and one which, despite the government and media’s persistent attempts to ignore, won’t go away.

They may sound like conspiracy theorists in overdrive – and there is little in the way of official evidence and health statistics to back up what they say. But here is the frightening thing: If, in this real-life game of Fact or Fiction?, only 10 percent of what the residents say is true, we have a huge health scandal on our hands – the magnitude and implications of which are unimaginable.

The story centres around one of the city’s major employers, the Ivon Watkins Dow Plant.

Since the early 1960s, and up until 1987, it manufactured the 2,4,5T herbicide – which contains the deadly dioxin also used to form Agent Orange – a weapon of huge destruction in the Vietnam War.

In New Zealand and around the world 2,4,5T is used to kill scrub, gorse and blackberry. In Vietnam, with concentrations of dioxin much higher, it had the same effect – to the extent where it devastated the country’s crops and caused major health problems amongst veterans, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, while creating learning difficulties amongst the vets’ children.



Paritutu Original Dioxin Study. Peer reviews show the original study to be valid. 26 January, 2007   [Image credit at link]


MP’s Agent Orange claim triggers inquiry 10/01/05
Officials will investigate a Government minister’s reported claim that Ivon Watkins Dow exported the components of the defoliant Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War.


From the Green Party NZ:

Dioxin disaster

TV3’s Melanie Reid has spent the last year investigating dioxin contamination from the herbicide 2-4-5-T, especially in the New Plymouth suburb of Paritutu, where Ivon Watkins Dow manufactured the chemical for more than 20 years. The result, a 90-min documentary called Let us Spray went to air last night. If you missed it, you can watch it online here. (Video displayed above).

The documentary is extremely disturbing. Most notably, a forensic accountant hired by TV3 went through an earlier Ministry of Health report into dioxin contamination in New Plymouth and found that ill-defined parameters, muddled reporting of facts and inconsistencies in drawing conclusions masked the true extent of the dioxin contamination problem.  READ MORE

Read more on chemicals and how they poison us on our ‘chemicals’ pages.

21 thoughts on “Censored from NZ Television – Ivon Watkins Dow’s release of deadly 245T from 1962-81 in New Plymouth”

  1. Dear Pam!

    This is your official welcome to the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community ! Yup…you are now amongst other great earth friendly gardeners just like yourself! 🙂

    And it just so happens we have a Private Facebook Group just for you!

    It’s the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community !

    Here, you will be able to connect with your fellow gardeners! Share resources, ideas, challenges and successes!

    Click HERE to request access the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Group !

    I’ll see you there! ~ Jackie Marie

    Attention!!! Once you click UNSUBSCRIBE below, you will stop receiving our highly targeted communications that have been designed for your benefit! (You’ll miss out on a lot!)


    Mike and Jackie Beyer The Organic Gardener Podcast PO Box 310 Fortine, MT 59918 1-877-209-6899 organicgardenerpodcast@gmail.com http://www.organicgardenerpodcast.com



  2. When we made the documentary film ‘Rubber Gloves Or Green Fingers’ for TVNZ the management were pressured by various producer boards not to broadcast it. As a result muppets like Andrew Shaw did everything they could to prevent it ever being shown. They were just another corporate cog helping to suppress information about the dangers of pesticides.


    1. Hi Tim. Thanks for that information. Is that doco available? I haven’t seen it. Definitely not surprising given the use of them here is very accepted by those in charge who decline to examine the independent research into pesticides. Laughable isn’t it they call us clean & green?


  3. 1939 Germans invaded Poland at that time a young Polish Chemistry graduate was pressed into going back to Germany and working for the Germans and on developing 245T. It was referred to as “Weedkiller” by the Germans and was used as part of the “final solution” to kill Jews. In fact it was replaced by the Chemical “Zyklon B” not because Zyklon B was better killing jews but it was faster. 245T was considered better but took longer. Near the end of the war the scientists went on the run, no one wanted to be picked up by the Russians so they looked for the Americans. After being taken to the States and debriefed the one who told me this was sent to NZ to continue developing 245T. And did he what… tons and tons of the shit… too much and by-product. In fact…Vietnam was an opportunity to get rid of the massive surplus of this deadly chemical so it was rebranded as “defoliant” and “agent orange” and dumped on Vietnam. There is high level cover up, I believe the Americans are War criminals and IWD and NZ are complicit. But no one can do a thing about it until the whole story is known.. evidence has been destroyed trails covered. If we had not heard this ourselves from the mouth of the head Chemist then we would not believe it ourselves. This is not a conspiracy theory this is a case where the truth is stranger that fiction. Our farmers were effected from gorse spraying and farm use/ experiments down Manaia way right around our Maunga and across the country, it was even sold in small bottles for domestic use.. our soldiers effected from Vietnam dumping.. it is dorment in our soil til tilled.. it is in our food chain…it billowed over New Plymouth.. It poisoned Vietnam.. It was used as a biological weapon..dig deeper NZ you definitly won’t like what you find. I am a local I have no reason to make this shit up.. its just so unreal that this happened here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think people are waking up David thanks to social media. ANd the soldiers, yes I’ve met them one in particular whose child had serious issues he belived because of his service in Vietnam. Shameful. What you say is reinforced by the way they dragged their feet about even admitting it. 2006 I believe it was here. Folks can search ‘Operation Paperclip’ for data on the post war experiments you cite. Thanks for the info David. THe whole thing’s shocking.


    2. Vietnam is right now trying to sue Monsanto for the millions of deformities, health problems, land and environmental problems related to Agent Orange since Monsanto lost another big case last week in California. As NZ produced Agent Orange, a high level executive of IWD spoke out – it leaves NZ open to lawsuits too – 40 years later….and now we drop 1080 a deadly toxin out of helicopters into waterways and on our land. Crimes against humanity.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. hi Tim i used to live right next to that plant on Marama Cresent at night time when it was raining they use to burn off chemicals so no one could smell it but you could still smell it

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I lived on Rangitaki Drive in the early 80s, mowed the lawns at Steel and Tube with no catcher for 2 years as an after school job and to this day can still remember the taste of the chemicals in the air in the area. My cousin Jeff Oneil worked in the lab and died in the last 5 years from a brain tumour. I also remember the leaking drums in the chemical dump on the cliffs above back beach , around the area that they built the tank farm. Those chemicals leaked into the creek that ran along the gully at the back of our house and leached through the soil on the eroding cliff edge down on to the beach. It was common knowledge that the dump was there and that it was leaking. I remember it vividly. There were always mutterings amongst the locals but nobody would listen. Nothing has changed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The place must have been so toxic Nix. It’s astounding hearing these stories. Do you ever recall being talked to about safety issues? protection even? Would be so good to have a census/survey of sorts of all the folks who’ve lived there over the years. One young woman has shared elsewhere that she scars from the effects of the chemicals during her mother’s pregnancy.


  6. I know a natural health practitioner who was a young mum all those years ago and worked in the office of Ivan Watkin Dow in Taranaki. She would picnic on the beach with her kids as a tractor from the IWD factory would go down onto the beach and dig a hole and bury the drum of what would have been toxic waste in the sand……When her neighbour sprays with Roundup she is affected immediately and is driven to bed in
    an effort to recover i,e, she is super sensitive to the poison. Secondly I know a Vietnam Vet who is surviving with health issues but keeping them at bay by using New Image supplements which includes a colostrum product and shares this knowledge and product with his fellow Vietnam Vets. Those who are suffering and don’t listen to him succumb. It is a national shame that this issue in not dealt with and compensation of some description given to the victims and families -IWD need to be made accountable. I also understand that IWD or a subsidiary are responsible for the abandoned gold mine up the Tui Road, Mt Te Aroha. The poisonous tailings were left and Waikato Regional Council ratepayers paid for the road built up to the site and concrete trucks mixed the contaminated ground into a slurry to set in a big blob in the ground. Things we do…….!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for that info Mischele. Very interesting indeed. Clearly they took full advantage of people’s ignorance back then. That area must still be very contaminated I would imagine. It would be interesting to know. I didn’t know about the gold mine. Totally typical of a corporation, how they leave the clean up costs to others & are never required to pay themselves. So wrong.


  7. Property manager sent a guy she said to “trim” ivy along the fence to please the unhappy neighbour. He ripped it all out then sprayed with herbicide, afterwards rinsing the container on the lawn. He also left dead ivy remnants and leaves all over the fence presumably for someone else to clean up.

    Took me a month of constant asking to find out what the herbicide was. “Lion”, which on googling turned out to be glyphosate – Monsanto’s (maker of Aged Orange along with Dow) invention, also known as Roundup, though made by Nufarm.

    I read the usage label online, which the guy clearly didn’t bother to read, as he was dressed in shorts like he was watering plants not killing them, without any safety gear:

    “When handling wear eye protection, waterproof gloves, boots and overalls.”

    Sweet as, she’ll be alright. The label also had this amazing disclaimer that needs to be read to be belived – the maker cannot be held responsible for anything, including its own negligence:

    “When you use this product, you agree that neither Nufarm Limited nor any manufacturer of any component of the product will be liable for any damage, injury or loss including consequential loss which arises in anyway from the storage, handling, or use of the product. This exclusion of liability includes loss caused by negligent acts or omissions of Nufarm Limited or any supplier or manufacturer of the product or any of their employees and agents.”

    Click to access Lion_Herbicide_20L_Label.pdf

    Like, I presume, if their own research happens to uncover some unknown harmful effects, they are not abliged to tell you.

    Also funnily, the product’s main page https://www2.nufarm.com/nz/product/lion-herbicide/ advertises it as suitable for “aquatic areas” in spite of the label stating:

    “Toxic to aquatic organisms with long-lasting effects. Avoid contamination of any water supply with product or empty container.”

    No kidding. I recall ads in local paper by DOC advising of them using Roundup specifically around local streams. This summer, while swimming, I saw quite a few dead small fish in the lake, which I was told by Waikato Regional Council was natural deaths after spawning, which some fish in fact do, but now I am not so sure, as I don’t remember seeing that dead fish before (neither I remember ever seeing live fish, though that may be because I don’t fish for the introduced trout).

    In summary, buy more, spray liberally, we will worry about it later. I am still trying in vain to get the property manager to have someone come and clean up all the dead stuff hanging on and around the fence, and I miss the live green and truly harmless (compared to what I’ve got now) ivy. During the current dry spell I try to keep windows and doors shut on the fence side, just in case, to minimise “safe” Monsanto/Dow/Nufarm etc poisoned remnants blown in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beggars belief doesn’t it? I’ve asked these sprayers why they don’t wear protective gear & one reply was ‘so’s not to alarm the public’!! Good luck with your ivy remnants Dmitry. Bit of a head banging exercise isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.