NZ Herald business editor at large

Reserve Bank staff pension scheme to exit cluster bomb investments

Explosions from an airstrike in Syria. The Reserve Bank says that some of the funds that its own superannuation fund has invested in held shares in cluster bomb makers. Photo / Getty
Explosions from an airstrike in Syria. The Reserve Bank says that some of the funds that its own superannuation fund has invested in held shares in cluster bomb makers. Photo / Getty

Trustees of the Reserve Bank staff superannuation fund have confirmed that it has investments in companies that may be involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs but will move quickly to exit them.

"In the last few days, Trustees have discovered that one of those widely-diversified funds holds shares in two US companies - General Dynamics and Textron - which may be involved in the production of cluster munitions," chair of the Trustees Geoff Bascand said in a release to members today. "Trustees will act expeditiously to eliminate our exposure to these firms."

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Staff Superannuation and Provident Fund is described as "a small superannuation scheme that provides retirement and related benefits for current and former Reserve Bank staff."

It is established under its own trust deed, and is not subject to direction on any matters by the Reserve Bank or the Minister of Finance.

Last month a Herald investigation, Dirty Secrets of KiwiSaver, disclosed three KiwiSaver providers had signed up more than 400,000 New Zealanders to funds with stakes in clusterbomb manufacturers, raising questions over whether these investments were breaking the law.

Bascand confirmed that the fund was also invested in a number of areas - including tobacco and other companies involved in military manufacturing - that are currently on the New Zealand Super Fund exclusion list.

The Bank had requested that Trustees adopt a socially responsible investment policy and the matter would be considered at the at our next meeting, Bascand said.

- NZ Herald

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