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Super Fund complacent on ethical investment

12 August 2011

Super Fund complacent on ethical investment

Bill English’s statement that the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has one of the world's most developed ethical investment policies needs rethinking, the Green Party said today.

“Bill English needs to look at the recent record of the Super Fund on ethical investment to see that their management has been complacent and unprofessional, risking serious damage to our reputation as a responsible member of the world community,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Their investment in tobacco manufacturer Shanghai Industrial Holdings is not the first time the Superfund has been caught out on ethical investment issues. Previously, they were caught profiting from the whaling industry and the cluster munitions industry.

“The Fund continues to invest in and profit from firms that produce nuclear weapons/delivery systems, sell weapons to Burma, systematically violate human rights, and cause severe environmental damage.”

The Super Fund currently invests in the following companies blacklisted by the world’s largest sovereign fund in Norway:

Companies in the NZ Super Fund Portfolio†Reason for exclusion
Larsen & Toubro
Serco Group
BAE Systems
Production of nuclear arms or nuclear weapon delivery systems
Dongfeng Motor GroupSale of weapons to Burma
Shanghai Industrial HoldingsProduction of tobacco
Wal-Mart Stores
Wal-Mart de Mexico
Serious or systematic human rights violations
Norilsk Nickel
Barrick Gold Corp
Rio Tinto Plc
Rio Tinto Ltd
Sterlite Industries
Vedanta Resources
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
Severe environmental damage
Elbit Systems LtdViolations of international humanitarian law

“I fail to see how the Minister of Finance can describe the Super Fund’s record as world leading,” Dr Norman said.

“Sovereign funds abroad have chosen to divest from these companies while we continue to profit from them.

“This is not a professional way to manage a $19 billion investment fund. It’s time they cleaned up their act.”

† As of 30 June 2010, the most up-to-date listing of the NZ Superannuation Fund equity holdings available on-line.


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