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Super Fund 'complacent on ethical investment'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Bill English
Bill English

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: Production of nuclear arms or nuclear weapon delivery systems

Larsen & Toubro

Serco Group

Safran

Finmeccanica

Boeing

BAE Systems

Reason for exclusion: Sale of weapons to Burma

Dongfeng Motor Group

Reason for exclusion: Serious or systematic human rights violations

Shanghai Industrial Holdings

Production of tobacco

Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart de Mexico

Reason for exclusion: Severe environmental damage

Norilsk Nickel

Barrick Gold Corp

Rio Tinto Plc

Rio Tinto Ltd

Sterlite Industries

Vedanta Resources

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Reason for exclusion: Violations of international humanitarian law

Elbit Systems Ltd

"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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