Information uncovered by the Green Party showing the Government’s $31 billion ACC Investment Fund has been illegally investing New Zealanders’ money into cluster munitions companies is further evidence of National’s disregard for the laws and ethics of investment.
The Green Party asked the ACC Fund in November 2015 whether it had any exposure to illegal investments in cluster munitions companies through pooled or collective investment vehicles. Seventy-six working days later*, the ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information, however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy.
“Once again, funds that the National Government is directly responsible for have been caught out investing illegally and immorally,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“New Zealanders care deeply about whether or not their money is being used to do harm elsewhere. It’s time the National Government did too.
“It is both unethical and illegal for funds to be invested in companies that manufacture cluster bombs, and the ACC Fund has been caught doing so by our request for information under the Official Information Act.
“Cluster bombs kill and maim tens of thousands of innocent people every year long after fighting has ceased.
“These weapons blow innocent kids’ legs off and it’s time the Government set up strong rules about profiting from investments in the companies that make these weapons.
“National signed the Cluster Bomb Convention into law in 2009. They need to take responsibility for it and ensure government funds and KiwiSaver funds don’t invest in companies which make money from manufacturing illegal weapons of war.
“The Government needs to walk its talk and set some basic ethical standards for investment,” said Ms Genter.