INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt Found Investing Illegally In Cluster Bombs

Published: Fri 7 Dec 2012 09:15 AM
7 December 2012
Govt Found Investing Illegally In Cluster Bombs
The Green Party has discovered the Government continues to invest in cluster bomb manufacturers despite making a specific commitment not to.
Answers to Parliamentary written questions lodged by the Green Party show that the Government’s National Provident Fund and Government Superannuation Fund invest, through trusts and investment vehicles, $2.2 million in three companies that are involved in the production of cluster bombs, despite section 10 of the Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2009 which specifically prohibits it. The companies involved are: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and L-3 Communications.
“New Zealanders will be horrified to know their Government is profiting from the production of cluster munitions – bombs that kill so indiscriminately, 98 percent of all reported casualties from them are civilians,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“When we adopted the Cluster Munitions Convention in 2008, we made a commitment to ‘never under any circumstances assist or encourage’ the cluster munitions industry.
“The National Government has been complacent in managing our humanitarian responsibilities to the wider world; profiting from cluster bombs is simply immoral and must end.
“An opinion sought from the Auditor General maintains that investment in cluster bomb manufacturers is clearly illegal.
“Bill English must direct the National Provident Fund and Government Superannuation Fund to divest from investment vehicles that hold companies involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs and ensure they improve their screening systems so this doesn’t happen again.”
The Parliamentary questions also revealed the two government-run funds had investments in trusts and investment vehicles that include tobacco companies and companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons.
“The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has divested from companies that manufacture cluster munitions, nuclear weapons, or tobacco products,” said Dr Norman.
“Divestment was initiated to avoid damaging our reputation as a responsible member of the world community.
“We’d like to see the National Provident Fund and Government Superannuation Fund divest from investment vehicles that hold tobacco and nuclear weapons manufacturers as well – following the lead of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
“It's not in our interests (or our children's) to profit from the proliferation of nuclear weapons, cluster munitions, or the expansion of the tobacco industry,” said Dr Norman.
Parliamentary questions, supporting information, and Auditor General opinion:
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/green_party_parliamentary_questions_on_ethical_investment.pdf
ENDS

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