New Zealand Superannuation Fund dumps investment in UK nuclear weapons programme

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has pulled out of investing in Jacobs Engineering Group and Serco Group – two members of the contracting consortium responsible for managing the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), where the UK's nuclear weapons are designed and built.

The Fund, which manages investments to pay retirement benefit to New Zealanders aged 65 or over, has a responsible investment policy which excludes investment in the manufacture or testing of nuclear explosive devices.  It had decided to withdraw its investments in Lockheed Martin, the third member of the AWE consortium, on a previous occasion.

The Fund has also decided to exclude Babcock & Wilcox, Fluor Corporation, Huntington Ingalls Industries, URS Corporation, and Bechtel Group from its portfolio because of their involvement in the US nuclear weapons programme or retrofit and maintenance activities at US nuclear bases.

The total share value sold off in the seven companies was just over NZ$2 million (£1.1m), a small fraction of the both the $22 billion invested by the Fund and the total investment holdings of the companies themselves.

The Fund excludes companies that are directly involved in the manufacture or testing of nuclear explosive devices from its investments, citing the need for compliance with the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons and the Non Proliferation Treaty as reasons for this policy.

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said that the decision was “appropriate”.

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