26 Sep 2012

New Zealand Super Fund ends investment in Papua mine over human rights breaches

1:22 pm on 26 September 2012

Human rights breaches have prompted the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to end its investment in the huge Freeport McMoRan copper and gold mine in Indonesia's Papua region.

Until now, the Fund, of just over 15 billion US dollars, has had just over a million US dollars directly invested in the Grasberg mine, and had rejected calls that this was an inappropriate investment of public money.

But the manager for responsible investment, Ann-Maree O'Connor says the Fund has become concerned at a recurrence of security issues at the mine and she says human rights breaches are a key factor.

"The context is such that there have been fatalities at the mine, that there have been reports by MSCI and other sources of information that these have breached human rights standards so we believe that the situation is one that could continue well into the future, and those are the standards that we look at when we considering reviewing the behaviour of companies."

The New Zealand Superannunation Fund's manager for responsible investment, Ann-Maree O'Connor.