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Super Fund fails the ethical investment test

Indonesia Human Rights Committee

Box 68-419

Auckland

 

30 September, 2008

 

 

Media Release:

Super Fund fails the ethical investment test

It is absurd to hear  the Super Fund’s Chairman David May claiming  that the Fund is investing responsibly and in a manner that upholds New Zealand’s reputation as a ‘global citizen’.

Mr May made these claims yesterday while releasing the Super Fund annual report. However, the Super Fund investments in the US Corporation, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold and its joint venture partner, Rio Tinto Inc are proof of deeply unethical investing.

“Indonesia Human Rights Committee took part in a deputation to meet with Super Fund executives just a week ago and the topic of Freeport was high on the agenda. Freeport has a notorious international record, why does Board continue to ignore this issue?” said Maire Leadbeater for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee.

The four decade operation of the Freeport McMoran open pit copper and gold mine in Indonesian controlled West Papua has caused untold suffering to the local people and devastated a vast area of once pristine rainforest, alpine valleys and mangrove estuary.  Freeport makes direct payments to the Indonesian military for “protection” despite its  black record of repressing local opposition by force and fostering inter-communal conflict.  

Freeport has already poured over a billion tons of tailings sludge directly into the local rivers and created a massive deposition area or dead zone in places up to 15 metres deep.  Waste rock or overburden piles up in the alpine valleys and the result is Acid Rock  Drainage. West Papua is the most biodiverse region in the world – and it is under assault.

The giant Norway Pension Fund  divested from Freeport McMoran in 2006 and recently announced its decision to divest from Rio Tinto.   The Ethics Council of the Norway Fund concluded that the mine was responsible for severe and irreversible environmental damage and also that dialogue with company representatives had been ineffective.

“The Super Fund is investing our taxes – it must think again about this investment in destruction.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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