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Minister gets it wrong on cluster bomb investments

Minister gets it wrong on cluster bomb investments

Green Media release & advisory 18-2-08

The Greens are surprised that Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Goff is being reported today as saying that the New Zealand Super Fund has divested its portfolio of cluster bomb investments.

In fact the Super Fund actually increased its cluster bomb investments from June 2006 to June 2007 (latest publicly available figures*) and is only ‘reviewing’ its cluster bomb investments, according to the latest information on its website and in its submission to the select committee on Thursday last week.

“Perhaps the Minister shares our amazement that taxpayers’ money would ever be invested in the manufacture of cluster bombs and so he can’t believe it is true – but I’m afraid it is,” says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Co-Leader and Economics Spokesperson.

“We are proud that New Zealand is hosting the anti-cluster bomb conference but we need to clean up our act and get rid of these bloody cluster bomb investments.

“Responsible investors act together to make capital less available for companies doing bad things, like making cluster bombs, and more available for companies doing good things, like renewable energy. Let’s become a responsible investor nation.”

Media Advisory

As part of a series of public events organised by the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, Russel Norman will be chairing a public meeting on taking action against cluster bomb manufacturers. It will include a representative from the Norway Pension Fund, a Fund which has divested from cluster bomb manufacturers.

Tues. 19 Feb.
Lunchtime Talk - “Taking Action Against Cluster Bomb Manufacturers”
Time: 1pm-2.30pm
Place: Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall
About: Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Mr. Russel Norman is facilitating this panel discussion featuring Mr. Mark Hiznay of Human Rights Watch, Ms. Gro Nystuen of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, and Miriam Struyk from IKV Pax Christi (The Netherlands).

*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.

Dr. Russel Norman

Green Party Co-Leader

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