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Conference of Churches Aotearoa AGM

PRESS STATEMENT – 30 Sept 2001

The Conference of Churches Aotearoa New Zealand at its annual meeting in Hamilton has adopted the Principles of Global Corporate Responsibility, and has recommended to its member churches to use these to help in the ethical dimensions of its investment decisions.

The Principles are those used by the churches and faith communities in the USA, Britain, Ireland and Canada, and are a very useful guide for New Zealand Churches to add to their existing criteria for investment, said Dr Robert Howell, convenor of the CCANZ Working Party.

The CCANZ is the ecumenical association for 13 Protestant and Orthodox Churches in New Zealand. The Working Party, with representatives from its members with significant investment funds, found that New Zealand Churches have not kept up to date with the more sophisticated techniques used by a number of overseas churches.

The Principles are used in the USA by an association of 275 Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish institutional investors with an estimated US$90 billion in funds. A rough estimate of New Zealand Protestant Church investments would be in the order of NZ$1 billion. While we are small in comparison, said Dr Howell, there is still a moral and religious imperative to invest wisely and responsibly.

The Working Party however expressed concern that a number of existing opportunities for ethical investment in New Zealand use inadequate methodology and measures that have not been validated. The CCANZ adopted the Working Party’s recommendation to encourage wider debate and education about what is ethical or socially responsible investment and corporate behaviour.

Issued by Michael Earle, General Secretary


Contact: Dr Howell Tel 09 416 5170 025 242 6515

A full list of the Members of the CCANZ can be found at www.ccanz.godzone.net.nz

A copy of the Working Party report can be obtained from Dr Howell at r.howell@martech.co.nz

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