Rapid divestment decisions by funds with money in nuclear weapons, landmines and cluster bombs is a credit to people power. But the battle is far from over, writes Grant Bayldon
If you like a good David and Goliath story, you’re in luck.
News broke in August that millions of New Zealanders had unwittingly invested in nuclear weapons, landmines and cluster bombs through their KiwiSaver schemes. At the time few people would have picked that within weeks the NZ Herald would be able to report that over 99% of KiwiSaver funds that had been invested in banned weapons have been withdrawn.
The massive, mostly foreign owned banks operating the largest KiwiSaver funds in New Zealand aren’t renowned for being easy to budge on ethical issues. And the global investment companies that sit behind them are even tougher targets. So the quick divestment decisions have been remarkable.