Tag Archives: NZ SuperFund

Protest demands NZ SuperFund withdraws Israeli investments

3 Aug

FullSizeRenderA lively lunchtime protest at the NZ SuperFund HQ in Downtown Auckland today (Photo: Kia Ora Gaza).

Although divesting from a few Israeli corporations under pressure, NZ SuperFund still retains an array of investments in Israel’s continued harsh occupation of Palestine and siege.

SuperFund CEO Adrian Orr met with an Auckland superannuitants group a few months ago, and agreed to ‘monitor’ their Israeli investments and discuss changes. However, Orr has recently refused any further dialogue and police barred a deputation from the group from entering their downtown headquarters after a lively protest today.

‘We are calling on the NZ SuperFund to continue to divest from companies …that profit off others’ suffering’ said the seniors’ group coordinator, Phil McNeale, at the 60-strong rally. ‘We demand our tax dollars are immediately withdrawn from companies which arm Israel and help maintain its brutal regime of occupation and siege.’

In 2012, Superfund divested from a number of companies which profit off Israel’s war crimes, such as Elbit Systems, a drone manufacturer. Last year NZ Super dropped armaments manufacturer, General Dynamics from their Israeli investment portfolio.

Today, however, NZ Superfund continues to invest in some 38 companies which supply Israel with the means to attack civilians, and in companies which profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These investments are an affront to international law and the principles of human rights.

‘NZ Superfund has taken an ethical stance on not investing with companies tied to nuclear weaponry and whaling. We want to see this same compassion afforded to Palestinians. As taxpayers we do not want to see our money invested in the suffering and murder of other human beings,’ said McNeale.

NZSF had $7,678,104 invested in some 38 Israeli corporations, plus $2,017,530 in Caterpillar, who supply huge armed bulldozers to the Israeli military. Here are some of them:

• G4S: a British-Danish private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police.
• United Technologies: produces Blackhawk helicopters used to attack cities, refugee camps and villages.
• Boeing: sells Israel F-15A fighter jets and Apache AH 64 helicopters used in attacks on Gaza.
• Raytheon: produces bombs used in attacking Gaza.
• Caterpillar: produces militarised bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes.
• Israel Chemicals: produces white phosphorus.
• Hewlett-Packard Co: produces technologies for the Israeli military and profits from business in illegal settlements

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.

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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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