Investment group needs independent experts (New Zealand)
Cullen should appoint independent experts to responsible investment group.
The Green Party is calling on Finance Minister Michael Cullen to appoint at least one independent expert on responsible investment to the Government working party designing the responsible investment disclosure requirements for KiwiSaver providers.
Answers to written parliamentary questions have revealed the working party is stacked with industry insiders and does not include any independent experts on responsible investment, but does include the Chair of the NZ Super Fund, which has been investing in nuclear weapons and cluster bomb manufacture.
In addition the disclosure guidelines do not come into force until April 1 next year, well after most investors will have chosen their KiwiSaver provider.
"This is not a real working party on responsible or ethical investment, it is industry insiders drawing up some disclosure guidelines for themselves that will come into force well after most people choose their provider," says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Co-Leader and Economics Spokesperson.
"Instead of giving New Zealanders a working party with independent experts on socially responsible investment, the Government is getting industry insiders to write their own disclosure requirements.
The three non-government reps on the working party are from the NZ Super Fund and two industry groups - the Investment Savings and Insurance Association and the Association of Superannuation Funds. There are also reps from Treasury, Ministry of Economic Development, Securities Commission, and Ministry for the Environment.
"The Finance Minister appeared to concede to pressure from the Greens and the Prime Minister about ethical investment by establishing a working party to develop responsible investment disclosure requirements for KiwiSaver providers. But he has tried to pull the wool over our eyes by appointing a committee that has no independent experts on responsible investment.
"Remarkably, one of the three non-government reps on the group is the Chair of the NZ Super Fund, the Fund that is investing in cluster bomb and nuclear weapons manufacture. Another of the three heads up the body that makes recommendations on guardians of the Super Fund.
"The industry reps are no doubt fine people, but they are not the right people to draw up requirements for responsible investment disclosure.
"If this stacked committee draws up the rules, it may well prove fitting that they come into force on April Fools Day, 2008.
Von: Green Party New Zealand press release http://www.scoop.co.nz 21.06.2007