Tag Archives: Adrian Orr

Cleaning your teeth with white phosphorus?

14 Aug

Hamza-300-x-400Hamza Mus’ab Almadani, scarred for life by NZ SuperFund’s investment partners Israeli Chemicals

Dr Vacy Vlazna, gaza.scoop.ps, 13 August 2015

One year ago, on 15 August – 40 days into Israel’s 51 day monstrous assault on Gaza that was clocking up 1800 innocent Palestinian deaths – Adrian Orr, the CEO of the New Zealand Superfund (NZSF) took a cheap shot, a morally cheap low shot, at concerned young protesters who chained themselves in the NZSF office (Auckland) demanding that the NZSF immediately divest from Israel Chemicals (ICL) – a supplier of lethal white phosphorus to the US army for the manufacture of munitions sold back to Israel to barrage fire and death on Gaza.

In response to spokesperson Nadia Abu-Shanab’s passionate urging for divestment, Adrian Orr’s smug retort was,

“Do you brush your teeth? ( Nadia: “Sorry?) “Do you brush your teeth? White phosphorus is used in many places”

Orr is not stupid, paid NZ$800,000 p.a, he knows that phosphate is used in toothpaste whereas the pure evil of white phosphorus, derived from phosphate through an industrial process, is so highly reactive to oxygen it has to be stored under water. Exposed to air, it sears human flesh to the bone, damages the immune system and causes neurological damage.

Nadia then goes on to say, “Palestinians have actually identified the company” and Orr butts in with appalling callous flippancy, “I can identify lots of companies that annoy me in life.”

Annoy? Annoyance is not how I would describe Mus’ab Almadani’s attitude to Israeli Chemicals that supplied the white phosphorus that seared the innocent flesh of his little son Hamza, 3. The pain has branded horrific physical, emotional and psychological scars on Hamza for life. [Pictured above].

Orr admits that Israeli Chemicals (ICL): “sells some to the US defense force, the US defence force then sells some to the Israeli defense force.”

Orr’s offhand comment glosses over the evidence that ICL’s white phosphorus is integrated in munitions used in Gaza: “The Army contracting Command – Rock Island (ACC-RI) has awarded contract W52P1J-13-P-3004 for White Phosphorus to ICL Performance Products LP, used for the Ctg 155mm M110A2.”

Notwithstanding, Orr and NZSF have dug in, refusing to exclude Israeli Chemicals because they “draw a distinction between a company being directly and materially involved in an activity, versus being a supplier of materials or services in the normal course of business.”

That argument wouldn’t go down well with NZ drug enforcement regarding overseas suppliers exporting pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to NZ for methamphetamine manufacture.

NZSF is a government body and so Orr is dutifully following NZ government policy that goes easy on Israel’s genocidal assaults on Palestinian families. Prime Minister John Key, on July 22, 2014, two weeks into Gaza’s hell, parroted Israeli propaganda that Israel had ‘the right to defend itself’ [but not Palestinians, not Hamza] in a conflict between two equal sides. Seriously equal??? – high tech Israeli munitions against a people, the majority whom are children, cut off by land, sky and sea versus piddling rockets.

Key’s opportunistic reference to “the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on the West Bank in early June” pointedly lays false blame on the Palestinians boosted by his devious omission that Israel had killed 16 Palestinians,including 4 children, in the West Bank from January to June 2014.

Orr ends the encounter with the protesters, with bureaucratic pragmatism: “We need to get on with business, we heard you, I will be thinking hard about it”

In his hard thinking Orr must also consider Bank Leumi for divestment. It has an 18% stake in Israel Chemicals.

Orr has had exactly a year to think about it. One hoped in his contemplation he researched Mads Gilbert Night in Gaza or Mohammed Omer’s Shellshocked or Atef Abu Saif, The Drone Eats with Me or Max Blumenthal, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.

On August 3, 2015, sixty principled protesters rallied outside the NZSF building in Aukland to remind the NZSF that investment in Israel’s barbaric business of death was not to be done in their name.

Orr refused to meet with them. Seems NZSF staff have acquired the knack to sleep easy at night while working for a company, on behalf of the pro-Israel NZ government, that invests in Israeli war crimes.

Well, New Zealand, here’s a challenge for Adrian Orr – Brush your teeth with white phosphorus or divest from Israel Chemicals!


– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters, Sydney, Australia. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.


POST SCRIPT: In response to the above, a correspondent has made the following suggestion:

Ask folk to write to NZ SuperFund CEO Adrian Orr at enquiries@nzsuperfund.co.nz  and Cc john.key@national.org.nz
with just two sentences:

Adrian Orr
CEO, NZ Superfund

Brush your teeth with white phosphorus or divest from Israel Chemicals!
No war crimes investment in my name.

…and click resend every morning to maintain the rage and principle.




Senior citizens tell SuperFund: divest from Israeli occupation

29 Jan


A delegation of Auckland superannuitants and the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network met with the CEO of the NZ SuperFund, Adrian Orr and Head of Responsible Investment, Anne-maree O’Conner yesterday, following up an earlier deputation to demand the Fund withdraws from investing in companies participating in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

The group welcomed the news that the SuperFund had recently divested from General Dynamics and other companies previously, and pressed Orr to continue this disengagement.

They tackled the weak argument the SuperFund gives for a lack of proximity in some of its current investments.  The Fund disinvested in settlement building companies in 2012.  However the Fund still refuses to disinvest in companies which provide other services to settlements, such as finance, service stations and telecommunications.  In the vague terms of its stated policy this seems to be because of a ‘lack of proximity’.  The Fund says it will, and has, pull out of companies which ‘customise’ their services to the settlements.  Their arguments seem to be that if a company sells something on the open market, and it finishes up in the settlements, then it is not the company’s fault.  Taken to its logical extreme, the Fund seems to be saying that a company which builds standard sized doors, for instance, can sell them directly to the settlements without a problem, but as soon as it customizes any doors to specifications given it by a settlement customer it has achieved a proximity sufficient for disinvestment.

The delegation pushed for an alternative proximity test which it views as more logical, which is: that if an Israeli company sells a service directly to Israeli settlements, customized or otherwise, then proximity is clear and the Fund should act on it.  They pointed out that there is no difference between an Israeli company actually building settlements and another Israeli company funding the construction of those settlements. Orr stated that their policies are under continual review and that the Fund’s guardians are committed to responsible investments. He agreed to on-going dialogue with the delegation.

The seniors group will continue to pressure the SuperFund to divest, as part of the Palestinian call for international boycott and divestment from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

The video above shows interviews with some of the earlier delegation to the NZ SuperFund.

NZ SuperFund CEO, Adrian Orr, deputation members Roger Fowler, Mike Treen, Phil McNeale, Joan McDonald, and NZ SuperFund Head of Responsible Investment, Anne-maree O’Conner at the Auckland office yesterday.

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