ANZASW MEDIA RELEASE
ANZASW SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE DRAFT PRESS RELEASE
CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO BAN KIWISAVER INVESTMENTS IN OFFENSIVE WEAPONS
The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers is calling on the Government to legislate to ban Kiwisaver providers from investing in companies which produce internationally illegal weapons including cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons.
Social work as a profession has a strong value commitment to non-violence. Our Code of Ethics clearly states:
Members never directly or indirectly support individuals, groups, political forces or power structures using violence, terrorism, torture or similar means.
The Association is concerned that members and other social workers may find themselves unwittingly in breach of this ethical standard as a result of decisions made by Kiwisaver providers over investment of their savings. Many other New Zealanders share these concerns.
The current situation of buyer beware on investment in deeply immoral and banned weapons does not provide satisfactory protection. Indeed it is difficult for consumers to readily access information about what most Kiwisaver providers do or do not invest in. The burden should not fall on consumers to have to research where their money is going.
Our understanding is that the Kiwisaver Act 2006 gives the Government discretion to set criteria for Kiwisaver funds, and in the same way that it requires certain investment liquidity. Using this mechanism, it would be relatively straight forward to establish criteria preventing investment in companies producing internationally banned weapons.