Tahiti test veterans await compensation

9:10 am on 5 July 2017

The head of French Polynesia's test veterans organisation Roland Oldham has cautiously welcomed a government letter expressing support for its cause.

Mr Oldham said for years, anti-independence leaders had stayed away from the commemorations for the victims of the French nuclear weapons tests.

To mark the 51st anniversary of the first test, the president Edouard Fritch sent a minister and in a letter advised Mr Oldham that France was broadening its compensation offer.

Mr Oldham said for years there were undertakings from the French state which were barely followed up.

He also said the gravity of the aftermath of the tests was sinking in and politicians from all camps have used the nuclear issue in their recent campaigns.

"We have been here for so long and we know politicians so well that all I'm awaiting from them is some concrete action," he said.

Roland Oldham said he would like to have dates for when previously rejected claims would be reconsidered as well as recognition of the lasting health problems now emerging among the veterans' children.

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel