Thanks to the actions of tens of thousands of ActionStation members and other New Zealanders, KiwiSaver providers have dumped at least $109 million in weapon and tobacco investments.1
This is incredible progress, and testament to our community’s ability to rise up and do the right thing in the face of grave injustice. But , as you can see :
The fact that Westpac, AMP, AON, ASB and Mercer are still able to hold out against such public pressure means we need to tighten up our laws and make these unethical investments illegal.2
We’ve already handed over a 16,053-strong petition on Parliament lawn calling for a revision of the law to make it illegal to invest KiwiSaver funds in companies that manufacture cluster bombs, landmines, nuclear warheads or are in any way involved in the business of causing misery and death.
Since then we’ve also released results of our crowd-funded independent research into New Zealanders views on where we would like to see our KiwiSaver funds invested. It clearly shows that the vast majority of New Zealanders want to keep our retirement savings out of weapons, tobacco, junk food, and tax dodging industries. Key facts:3
86% of New Zealanders, including 86% of National Party voters disapprove of using “KiwiSaver funds to invest in ‘weapons, bombs, landmines and missiles’
74% of respondents disapproved of KiwiSaver funds being used for ‘junk food and sugary drinks’
81% of New Zealanders disapprove of KiwiSaver funds being invested in tobacco.
86% of New Zealanders disapprove of KiwiSaver funds being ‘companies that dodge tax here and abroad’. Only 6% approved.
While we wait to find out the Government's response to the petition, let's keep the pressure on by sending Prime Minister Bill English and Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith a quick email.
Here's some example text you can copy and paste, or even better - write your own! We all know that messages from the heart have the most impact.
As you will see from the polling that ActionStation members crowdfunded with UMR Research - 86% of New Zealanders, including 86% of National Party voters, disapprove of using “KiwiSaver funds to invest in ‘weapons, bombs, landmines and missiles’". You need to listen. (LINK: http://bit.ly/2dYwqcn)
I believe we need an Ethical Investment Law. We need well crafted legislation so all banks and financial institutions have a clear set clear set of legal guidelines about the kind of investment behaviours they can and cannot indulge in.
I know you might think that because New Zealanders put commercial pressure on the banks and financial institutions to divest themselves of these repugnant company shares that we don't need a law - that the market will decide. To that I would argue that “the market” (that’s us the people) have to find out first that there has been wrongdoing. Had it not been for the investigative journalism of RNZ Journalist Anusha Bradley and New Zealand Herald Reporter Matt Nippert then we would never have known that our some of our savings were being invested in devices designed to kill and maim. This is unacceptable.
Thanks to you - KiwiSaver providers have dumped $109m from weapons and tobacco investments, ActionStation Medium Blog, 3rd October 2016
‘No laws broken by KiwiSaver schemes, expert says’, Susan Edmunds, Stuff, 26th August 2016
- Kiwis don't want their savings invested in Marlboro Lights, Maccas or tax dodging multi-nationals, ActionStation Medium Blog, 31st October 2016