6 Oct 2016

Petition seeks to outlaw KiwiSaver weapons investment

11:47 am on 6 October 2016

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for KiwiSaver funds to drop investments in companies that manufacture weapons and bombs.

Land mine warning sign

Land mine warning sign Photo: 123RF

RNZ revealed in August at least five of the nine default KiwiSaver providers have money tied up in companies making cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons.

Some providers said they had since voluntarily switched to socially responsible investment funds.

But campaign group ActionStation said more needed to be done.

Director of strategy Marianne Elliott said the petitioners wanted the government to introduce legislation making arms investment illegal in the first place.

"KiwiSaver providers have responded to the strong signal of public concern so we've seen $109 million worth of funds divested from weapons by the providers themselves," she said.

"The petition is calling for legislative change so that can't be reversed in the future."

Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith said last month there was "no need" to change the law, because providers' quick actions meant consumers were already seeing the changes they wanted.

Mr Goldsmith said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was looking at reviewing KiwiSaver schemes so that providers would make the information provided to investors clear and easy to understand.

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