Nukes in your KiwiSaver fund?

19th March 2021

Mindful Money’s analysis shows that 88 KiwiSaver funds are invested in nuclear weapons. Their investments totalled $52 million at end September 2020.

Nukes in your KiwiSaver fund?

Kiwis don’t want weapons in their KiwiSaver funds. That message has come through loud and clear since it was revealed recently that the Prime Minister’s KiwiSaver fund is invested in a range of weapons companies that are implicated in human rights abuses in Yemen.

But they also don’t want their KiwiSaver funds invested in nuclear weapons.

In 2016, there was a public outcry over KiwiSaver investments in companies producing cluster munitions. But many KiwiSaver funds still invest in nuclear weapons.

Mindful Money’s analysis shows that 88 KiwiSaver funds are invested in nuclear weapons. Their investments totalled $52 million at end September 2020.

Barry Coates, Mindful Money founder and CEO said: “Many of New Zealand’s best-known KiwiSaver providers are invested in nuclear weapons producers. This is information that the public should know.”

“Any member of the public can find out for free what their KiwiSaver fund is invested in by visiting Mindful Money’s website: www.mindfulmoney.nz.”

“Members of the public aren’t given full information about what’s in their KiwiSaver fund. Even if some funds say they exclude weapons, they often don’t exclude all of them. There is a lack of transparency.”

“Now, for the first time, the public can use the Mindful Money website to see what companies are in their KiwiSaver fund – including weapons, fossil fuels, gambling, companies that violate human rights and companies that test their products on animals.”

In order to provide that transparency, Mindful Money researches the companies that are held in the portfolios of every KiwiSaver fund. This includes the direct investments, indirect investments in funds and investments in funds within those funds. This is a complete portfolio picture that has not previously been available to investors.

Mindful Money is calling on New Zealanders who don’t know what is in their KiwiSaver fund to go to the website and find out. Then they should ask their provider questions about why they are investing in companies like:

  • BAE Systems, one of the largest defence companies in the world. They produce nuclear weapons and have sold arms to the Saudi military since Saudi Arabia became involved in the Yemen war. 41 KiwiSaver funds invest in BAE Systems.
  • Safran SA is a French company producing key components for a new generation of nuclear missiles. They are alleged to have sold military equipment to the Egyptian government during a period of widespread human rights violations. 59 KiwiSaver funds invest in Safran.
  • Lockheed Martin is the largest global weapons maker, supplying aircraft, nuclear weapons and space systems. Its military equipment has allegedly been sold to a number of governments who have been implicated in human rights violations. In August 2018, it was reported that a Lockheed Martin-manufactured weapon was used in an airstrike in Yemen that led to the deaths of at least 51 civilians, including 40 children. 23 KiwiSaver funds invest in Lockheed Martin.

The 2020 annual survey of the New Zealand public by Mindful Money and the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia showed that 81% of Kiwis want to avoid weapons in their investments.

Analysis of KiwiSaver portfolio data at 30 September 2020 shows that $210 million of KiwiSaver funds are invested in companies that produce weapons (0.28% total KiwiSaver funds).

Of that total, $52 million is invested in 17 nuclear weapons producers. The largest (with number of KiwiSaver funds invested in brackets) are:

  • Boeing (43)
  • Raytheon Technologies (45)
  • Safran SA (59)
  • Honeywell International (25)
  • Lockheed Martin (23)
  • Airbus Group (27)
  • BAE Systems (41)

New Zealand has been a leader on anti-nuclear movement and the Treaty for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that came into force on 22 January 2021. Investments in nuclear weapons by 88 KiwiSaver funds is inconsistent with international law, government policy and the values of New Zealand investors.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money | 021365165 | barry@mindfulmoney.nz

Amy Coulson, Marketing for Mindful Money | 0274762966 | amy@mindfulmoney.nz