7 Nov 2006

NZ Super Fund defends investment in Freeport

11:11 am on 7 November 2006

New Zealand's Superannuation Fund says it's in the process of gathering information about US mining company Freeport McMoRan's operations in Indonesia's Papua province.

The New Zealand-based Indonesia Human Rights Committee has called on the Super Fund to stop investing in Freeport because of the company's record of human rights and environment abuse.

According to the Super Fund's Equity portfolio as at June 2006, it had investments worth nearly a million New Zealand dollars in Freeport.

The CEO of the Super Fund, Paul Costello, admits that a lot of documentation around the issue of freeport's Papua operations have come to their attention

"That means, it's something that we recognise that we do need to understand. And we need to work out whether the company is in fact complying with standards set down by the United Nations under the global compact. If we form a view that a company is operating outside of those, our preference is to engage with them and say as investors, we are keen to see you modify your behavior to achieve that."

Paul Costello.