Super Fund nukes’ investments unethical & Illegal?
Super Fund nukes’ investments – unethical and also illegal?
Green Media Release 11th February 2007
The revelation in The Listener yesterday that the Super Fund’s investment of our taxes in nuclear weapons may be illegal, as well as unethical, requires a rapid response from the Government. The Government must clarify the legal situation and ensure that the Fund withdraws our taxes from these companies, says the Green Party.
“Under the anti-nuclear legislation, government agencies like the Super Fund are not permitted to be involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Senior lecturer in law at Victoria University, Alberto Costi, is cited in yesterday’s Listener saying that he believes the anti-nuclear law may have been breached by the Super Fund investments,” says Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader.
“We need urgent clarification from the Crown Law Office as to the legality of these investments.
“If the investments are found to be legal and the Super Fund refuses to divest, then the Minister of Finance should use his powers under Section 64 of the Superannuation Act to direct the Super Fund to withdraw from involvement in the production of nuclear weapons.
“Furthermore, Michael Cullen needs to consider amending the law governing the Fund to ensure that our investments are consistent with the core values of New Zealanders.
“Michael Cullen may wish to wash his hands of this matter, by saying it’s up to the managers of the Super Fund, but I don’t believe that most New Zealanders will be comfortable with him allowing the Super Fund to invest their taxes in nuclear weapons.”
“Adrian Orr starts work as the head of the Fund tomorrow, I sincerely hope that he urgently realigns the Fund with the core values of New Zealanders - the people who pay the taxes that the Fund invests.”
Why the investments may be illegal:
Section 5(2) of the 1987 NZ Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act says that no government agency can manufacture, or aid others in the manufacture of, nuclear explosive devices inside or outside New Zealand. Nuclear explosive devices exclude the delivery systems unless those systems are indivisible from the weapon. The Super Fund is investing in companies that are involved in maintaining the explosive devices, and companies that manufacture the missiles that deliver the nuclear bombs, missiles which have no other purpose and are “indivisible” from the nuclear explosive device.