Do you make Nuclear Bombs?

18th March 2021

There are 88 KiwiSaver Funds with investments in companies that produce nuclear weapons, totalling $52 million. Here's how you can find out what's in your KiwiSaver fund and take action.

Most Kiwis don’t want their KiwiSaver provider to invest in weapons. Even fewer want their money invested in nuclear weapons.

We are proud of our strong stand against French testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific and our policy of not allowing nuclear weapons into New Zealand waters. We have been a country that is acutely aware of the dangers from the huge arsenal of nuclear weapons that could destroy our planet many times over. And more recently we have championed the international Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that came into force on 22 January this year.

Yet, as at end September 2020, 88 KiwiSaver funds had $52 million invested in companies that make nuclear weapons, as revealed in analysis by Mindful Money.

What’s happening in your KiwiSaver fund?

You can find out about what weapons companies are in your KiwiSaver fund by going to https://mindfulmoney.nz/kiwisaver/checker/. Just start typing in the name of the fund and the fund names will pop up.

You will then see a multi-coloured graph. Hover your cursor over the shaded area to see what category it is. Weapons are in blue, to the right hand side. That will tell you what % of weapons companies are in your fund.

Then click on the Fund Details button and that will show you the company names. You can look for nuclear weapons producers from the following list that are in KiwiSaver funds:

  • Airbus Group (The Netherlands)
  • BAE Systems (United Kingdom)
  • Boeing (USA)
  • BWX Technologies (USA)
  • General Dynamics (USA)
  • Honeywell International (USA)
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries (USA)
  • Jacobs Engineering (USA)
  • Larsen & Toubro (India)
  • Leonardo (Italy)
  • Lockheed Martin (USA)
  • Northrop Grumman (USA)
  • Raytheon (USA)
  • Safran (France)
  • Serco (United Kingdom)
  • Textron (USA)
  • Thales (France)

What’s the detail?

We get these figures from analysis of the six-monthly filings of fund portfolios with the Companies Office showing the companies they invest in directly, supplemented by our own research into the company holdings for the funds they invest in. This gives a ‘look-through’ picture that isn’t available anywhere else.

Then we match the portfolio with all the weapons companies, using research from a wide range of sources including investment research companies like Sustainalytics, leading funds like the Norwegian Sovereign Fund and research institutes, like Don’t Bank on the Bomb.

They define nuclear weapons producers as including the explosive device and the components that are critical to the functioning of the weapons, including the missiles and the electronics.

There’s more information in the methodology section on the Mindful Money website.

What can you do about it?

You can look for a fund that doesn’t have any weapons. Go to https://mindfulmoney.nz/pages/11/weapons-free/

Or if you want to have a broader look at the funds that Mindful Money has verified for meeting high ethical standards, go to our Fund Finder https://mindfulmoney.nz/kiwisaver/finder/

You don’t need to sacrifice good returns by investing ethically. There is extensive evidence showing that, on average, ethical funds have returns that are at least as high or higher than conventional funds, generally with lower risk.

We are following up with the fund providers who have nuclear weapons, but you can also add your voice by writing to them and asking why they don’t exclude the makers of nuclear weapons systems.

It’s your money. Use it wisely. Use it to make a better world.