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Auckland (1 October 2007) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund's shareholdings in Total S.A. has come under criticism by local non-government organisations. 

Total S.A. is a French oil company with operations in Myanmar. The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation hold approximately $18.4 million* worth of shares in Total S.A., which represents around 0.1% of the total Fund.   

The Guardians have a mandate to invest Crown contributions in a way that maximises returns without undue risk, and to avoid prejudice to New Zealand's reputation as a responsible member of the world community.  

In order to meet this mandate, the Guardians have established a Responsible Investment framework that includes guidelines based on international conventions, New Zealand law, and relevant Crown actions. These guidelines include the United Nations Global Compact principles as a key standard against which to monitor companies on human rights practices. In recent years, according to third-party agency reports, Total S.A. has adopted such a Human Rights policy that encompasses its operations in Myanmar.  

The Guardians' Chief Executive officer, Mr Adrian Orr, said "The Guardians are committed to responsible investment.  In the situation of Total S.A., given the information at hand, current international conventions, and New Zealand law and Crown actions, the Guardians are operating within their investment mandate.  Should that situation change, the Guardians would review this situation."   

The Guardians' responsible investment framework can be found here.

-Ends-  

For more information, please contact: Karine Fox, Head of Communications, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, +64 9 373 8963, [email protected].

*As at 31 May 2007.

 

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