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Superfund should end investment in Taser torture

28 November 2007

Superfund should end investment in Taser torture weapons

Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke wants the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to end its investment in Taser International.

"I was amazed to find that our Super Fund had a $780,000 investment in the producers of the controversial electric stun guns," Mr Locke says.

"They should quickly disinvest, particularly now that the United Nations Committee on Torture has designated the Taser as a torture weapon.

"Such disinvestment would be consistent with the Fund's earlier decision to quit its tobacco company shares.

"As with tobacco, the investment in Tasers presents both ethical and legal problems. Ethically, it is hard to justify investing in stun guns that have killed many people, that have been widely criticised around the world, and that have now earned UN condemnation.

"Legally, the investment is inconsistent with New Zealand's adherence to the UN Convention Against Torture. The Fund rightly saw New Zealand's adherence to the WHO tobacco convention a reason to disinvest from tobacco companies.

"One of the Fund's guidelines is 'avoiding prejudice to New Zealand's reputation as a responsible member of the world community'. In the light of the current worldwide controversy, the most responsible thing to do would be to disinvest from Taser International.

"Taser International might be a growth stock, partly because it is promoting a home consumer model, so that ordinary Americans can zap each other - something repugnant to most New Zealanders," Mr Locke says.


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