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Aucklanders part of global action on Cluster Bombs

Investment Watch Aotearoa New Zealand (IWANZ)
Box 68-419,
Auckland

17 April 2008

Media Release: Aucklanders part of global action against Cluster Bombs: Friday

Aucklanders concerned over the investment of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in cluster bombs will take to the street outside the Fund's Auckland offices, AMP Building, Customs Street West at 5pm on Friday, April 18. The action is on the eve of the April 19 "Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs" which takes place 1 month before the international Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions begins.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, set up by the Government to fund retirement pensions currently has investments in at least five corporations involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions.

Although the Super Fund has pledged to divest once an international treaty banning cluster bombs is signed, this indefinite time frame is unacceptable. These investments undermine the good work that New Zealand has been doing to support the international campaign to ban cluster bombs. Divestment should be immediate so as to restore New Zealand’s credibility.

There will be a protest outside the Super Fund offices in Wellington at the same time.

The protest action has been coordinated by Investment Watch Aotearoa New Zealand (IWANZ), a coalition of non-governmental organisations, including Peace Movement Aotearoa, Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace, Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Pax Christi, the Peace Foundation and Students for Justice in Palestine.

"At the time of the global action against cluster munitions we welcome the news that the Superfund will divest from cluster bomb companies, but we are calling on them to divest immediately and not support them a single day longer ”, said IWANZ spokesperson Maire Leadbeater.

“It is abhorrent that public money invested in a Government fund continues to be invested in corporations manufacturing a weapon that kills innocent civilians and children indiscriminately. Inhumane governments use cluster munitions for morally repugnant goals and do not seem to care about the deadly legacy that they leave for future generations." she concluded.

For further information: Maire Leadbeater 815-9000 or 0274-436-957

[1]. Cluster munitions are weapons that work by dispersing several smaller submunitions, often referred to as bomblets or grenades, over a wide area to destroy dispersed, moving and unseen targets. A cluster munition consists of a canister and several submunitions. After being dropped or fired, the canister opens in mid-air and ejects its cargo of submunitions. These submunitions then scatter over the target area and are designed to explode on impact. Cluster munitions can be delivered from aircraft, via rockets, missiles or bombs. Cluster munitions can also be launched from land-based systems such as
artillery, from rockets, artillery shells or missiles.

2 . The corporations manufacturing Cluster Munitions that the Superannuation Fund is invested in include:
Lockheed Martin - $21,850,772*
Raytheon Co. - $2,294,974
Poongsan Corp. - $1,582,636
Thales S.A. - $657,428
Hanwha Corp. - $139,445

ENDS

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