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ACC investments risking native species

ACC investments risking native species

The National Government has invested in a gold drilling company whose activities threaten a critically endangered native frog species, the Green Party has revealed today.

Despite being a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has made a significant but failed investment in gold drilling company Antipodes Gold, which plans to mine in the habitat of the critically endangered Archey’s Frog in the Coromandel Forest Park.

The Archey's frog is one of the world's rarest frogs. It can only be found in two locations in New Zealand and is the highest ranked EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) amphibian in the world.

“Another day, another eco-felony from the National Government,” said Green Party Mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“This is another example of National sacrificing New Zealand’s precious native species and wildlife in order to give the mining industry a leg-up.

“Whether it’s allowing oil exploration in the Maui’s sanctuary, opening up our forest parks for drilling, or mining in the habitat of the critically endangered Archey’s, this is a Government that could not care less about protecting New Zealand’s land, water and native species.”

ACC has invested just over $2million in Antipodes Gold, but due to a collapse in gold prices, the market value is of the investment has fallen to $50,000.

“Normally you’d say this was a case of putting profit before precious wildlife, except in this case the investment has been such a spectacular failure that there’s no profit to speak of.

“This investment shows both financial ineptness and a complete lack of regard for New Zealand’s precious native species.

“ACC Minister Judith Collins needs to reassure New Zealanders that no other native species are at risk from careless ACC investment decisions, and commit to no further reinvestments in unethical mining projects in the habitats of endangered species.”

ACC specifies on its website it has signed up to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, which demand environmental, social and governance issues be taken into account in investment decisions.

Among ACC’s other biggest 50 investments are Rio Tinto, SkyCity Group, McDonalds, and the Occidental Petroleum Company.

"National must stop putting the short-term interests of a few mining companies ahead of the thousands and thousands of New Zealanders who love and want to protect our precious native species,” said Ms Delahunty.

ends

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