26 Sep 2012

NZ Super Fund decision on Freeport's Papua mine about human rights standards

8:44 pm on 26 September 2012

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund's chief executive says it has decided that further engagement with Freeport-McMoRan would not bring any human rights improvement around the company's mine in Indonesia's Papua province.

The Super Fund has dumped its shareholding in Freeport's massive Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua.

The mine operations are guarded by Indonesia's security forces and have been the subject of ongoing violent attacks.

The security forces have been linked with a long list of human rights abuses in the area.

The chief executive Adrian Orr says the Super Fund has engaged with Freeport for some time to try and help improve the rights standards of the mine operations.

He says Freeport has been open to engagement but they've now a hit a wall.

"Comparing the standards that they've set against what we expect - the United Nations global compact standards around human rights - we've come to the conclusion that those standards are not going to be good enough. They're not going to meet our level of comfort and respect. And further engagement from us isn't going to make sufficient difference."

Adrian Orr