Internationally, there are hundreds of active fossil fuel divestment campaigns on university and college campuses, whereby investment funds are taken out of fossil fuels, but New Zealand tertiary institutions seem to be unmoved thus far.
When Tony Abbot scorned the Australian National University for divesting of its fossil fuel investments, however, the argument came closer to home.
The University of Auckland's Vice Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, said he believed the global trend of universities divesting from fossil fuel investments had not been particularly strongly lobbied for in New Zealand.
"Universities and politics do intersect of course, but it's not the sort of thing that's been a big issue around New Zealand universities thus far," he said.
"It's fairly uncommon for a university to have a single view on anything. We haven't been in a situation where there has been pressure for us to change the way we do things as a consequence of particular political stances."
Massey University Vice Chancellor Steve Maharey said the university's money was invested exclusively through a "major funding agency" under instructions to adhere to Massey's ethical framework.
"The background issue that any good university takes no position except in very exceptional circumstances on particular issues, because you're the host of a very diverse community of researchers who you encourage to exercise academic freedom."
Mr Maharey admitted he "wouldn't know" which companies the university has money invested in.
"Although we would be very clear with the companies we invest with, such as ANZ, about basic ethical standards, we don't really get the kind of feedback from them that would allow us to have a finely grained understanding of where they'd put the money.
"We don't ask them for that detail. Maybe we should, but we don't at the moment."
Meanwhile, this month, Glasgow University became the first academic institution in Europe to divest, with university court members voting to withdraw £18 million of its money from fossil fuels.
It brought the total of global investors who have pledged to divest to more than 800, made up of religious groups, universities, local governments and the high-profile US foundation Rockefeller Brothers.