23 Sep 2016

Minister refuses to release KiwiSaver advice

4:24 pm on 23 September 2016

The Minister of Commerce Paul Goldsmith has refused to publicly release legal advice on KiwiSaver funds investing in controversial arms companies.

Last month, RNZ News reported at least five default KiwiSaver providers were investing in companies making cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines.

RNZ has since reported that all nine default KiwiSaver providers had those kinds of investments, and have since either dumped the investments, were in the process of doing so, or were reviewing their policies.

Land mine warning sign

All nine default KiwiSaver providers were found to have invested in companies that made cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines or nuclear weapons. Photo: 123RF

In response to an Official Information Act request for advice he'd received, Mr Goldsmith said he was withholding the full details to maintain professional privilege.

He said, given the quick response of providers in pulling out of such investments, consumers were already seeing the changes they wanted without regulatory intervention.

Several providers have stopped investing in weapons and munitions firms through a passive fund run by the giant American investment company Vanguard.