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The Green Party release of today did not include the full text of the Guardians' response to its parliamentary question of 15 August 2011. We have published our full response here.

New Zealand's commitments under the Convention are reflected in the Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2009. The legislation makes it an offence to 'provide or invest funds with the intention that the funds be used, or knowing that they are to be used, in the development or production of cluster munitions'.  

The Guardians' long-public exclusion criteria in respect of cluster munitions relates to those companies involved in the manufacture, or the manufacture of key components, of cluster munitions. Please note here our announcement in December 2008 regarding our intentions to exclude companies involved in the manufacture of Cluster Munitions. As noted in the announcement we will continue to review our portfolio through specialist screening agencies to ensure our list of excluded companies remains up to date.  

We continue to research whether a number of companies in which we are invest are involved in the manufacture of Cluster Munitions or the key components of Cluster Munitions. As is often the case, there is doubt and disagreement about key facts, among investors like us who research these issues. Careful and ongoing analysis is therefore required. The Guardians are conscious that the policy decisions we make under our Responsible Investment Framework must be enduringly justifiable from both a commercial and a responsible investment perspective. We therefore make a decision to exclude, or otherwise, only on the facts as we understand them first-hand. If we conclude on the facts that companies in which we invest are in breach of our exclusion criteria, we will exclude.

The Guardians are therefore comfortable that we are acting in accordance with our Responsible Investment policies and are not in breach of New Zealand's obligations under the Cluster Munitions Convention.

 

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