Home > Uncategorized > New Zealand – A World Leader

New Zealand – A World Leader

Back in 2007 the New Zealand Superannuation Fund decided to divest from tobacco.  The Guardians of the fund presented a detailed paper justifying the decision which you can download here.

Of particular interest in the context of the UK debate is that the NZ fund generally favours a policy of engagement with companies under its responsible investment policy, just like UK funds.  However, unlike most UK funds it has determined that engagement with tobacco companies is not appropriate:

“While our preferred approach to responsible investment issues is to engage with the company or sector, in the case of tobacco manufacture we determined that this would be in conflict to the long-term goals of a shareholder, and inconsistent with New Zealand commitments to international conventions, in particular the objectives of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  As a result, the Board resolved to divest from the sector. ”

The full news release from the time described the key issues as product safety and a conflict with the UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The NZ Guardians regularly list the tobacco companies that are barred from the fund (scroll down for list)

 

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