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Time to stop loving the money from the bomb

Time to stop loving the money from the bomb

Green Media Release 14 Feb 2008

The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to urgently withdraw from its ever-increasing investments in cluster bomb manufacturers before the Government hosts the Cluster Bomb Conference in Wellington next week - a conference aimed at prohibiting cluster bombs.

"It is blatant hypocrisy for the New Zealand Government on the one hand to take dividends from the manufacture of cluster bombs while on the other hand to call for the adoption of an international treaty prohibiting the use of cluster bombs," says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader.

"New Zealanders do not want their taxes invested in the production of cluster bombs. These bombs target children and civilians and blow them to pieces. These investments need to stop, before our reputation as a peace loving nation is damaged.

"Incredibly the Super Fund has actually increased its investments in companies producing cluster bombs over the last 12 months.*

"One of the legally binding criteria for investments by the Super Fund is that they must not prejudice New Zealand's reputation as a responsible member of the world community. Clearly our reputation is about to be prejudiced because the issue of investments in cluster bomb manufacturers is on the agenda at the conference next week. The Norway Pension Fund, one of the world's biggest, has withdrawn from investments in companies that manufacture cluster bombs and they will be addressing participants at the conference on this issue.

"The Fund says that these investments are currently under review. But, since the Greens published our report twelve months ago revealing these investments, the Super Fund has actually increased its investments. They've had more than twelve months since the Green Party report; it's now time for them to stop loving the money from the bomb and love the people not blown to pieces instead."

In February last year the Greens released a report, Betting the Bank on the Bomb, which revealed the Super Fund's investments in cluster bomb and nuclear weapon manufacturers. You can see a copy of the original Green report here .

*Between June 2006 and June 2007 investments in Lockheed went from $15.8m to $21.9m; investments in Raytheon went from $1.5m to $2.3m according to the Super Fund website. Both these companies manufacture cluster bombs and are boycotted by the Norwegian Pension Fund. There are currently no more up to date figures publicly available.

ENDS


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