WR Complaint about the New Zealand Superfund

Wise Response has made a complaint about the New Zealand Superfund (NZSF) making misleading claims to be a responsible investor.

The complaint is available here as a PDF.

The complaint has been forwarded to the Minister of Finance and other relevant ministers.

A press release has been issued:

Press release: 30 August 2021, A.M.

Irresponsible and unethical investments by NZ Super Fund

Wise Response has laid a complaint to the Minister of Finance on the advice of the Financial Markets Authority about the New Zealand Superfund’s (NZSF) misleading claims to be a responsible and ethical investor.  Wise Response is concerned about the NZSF’s investments in nuclear weapons manufacturers, banks that are significantly invested in fossil fuel companies, and other companies with serious human and environmental abuses.

Being responsible means that moral obligations concerning human-human and human-Earth relations must govern NZSF’s assessment of the moral character of companies and assets they invest in. In order to influence change, it also means engaging with companies that do not meet these obligations.

The NZSF’s claim that it is a responsible organisation is misleading and false. 

  • It never defines what it means by responsible
  • Its engagements are limited
  • Its reporting is inadequate

A responsible investor will only use validated moral standards and frameworks that enable investment in companies and assets that operate ethically.

NZSF has relied on the unvalidated and inadequate standard of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI).Yet, in its presentation to the Foreign Affairs,Defence and Trade Select Committee ,NZSF used the UNPRI to try to justify its claim to be responsible.  This is misleading and irresponsible.

By using the UNPRI the NZSF has glossed over its investments in companies that the standard-leading Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund has excluded because of serious violations of human rights; severe environmental damage; gross corruption; and other violations of ethical norms. NZSF makes numerous unethical investments, such as in Aerojet Rocketdyne (US nuclear weapons), Genting Plantations (Malaysian palm oil production) and Page (Indian textile manufacture). There are many others, including banks that invest in fossil fuel companies.

Wise Response calls on the Government to require proper ethical standards for all its investments.

Full details of Wise Response’s complaint to the Financial Markets Authority and the Minister of Finance, is available here as a PDF.

Contacts for further comment: secretary@wiseresponse.org.nz

Patrons: Sir Alan Mark and Sir Geoffrey Palmer