'Appalling' - Chlöe Swarbrick devastated to learn of ANZ KiwiSaver link to Yemen war

Benedict Collins
Source: 1News

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick says she is horrified to learn that her ANZ KiwiSaver is investing in companies fuelling the war in Yemen and has promptly dumped the provider.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund also admitted today it was investing in the same companies. 

Stuff revealed this morning that numerous politicians are in the ANZ KiwiSaver fund - including the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - and its links to the military companies. 

Swarbrick said it was "devastating, in the same way I think it will be for the tens of thousands of Kiwis who have invested in a similar way and it simply shouldn't take investigative journalism to reveal these kinds of things.

"There should be far more transparency but worse than this what is so deeply unethical should be illegal it should never have been happening in the first place," Swarbrick told 1 NEWS. 

Ardern told 1 NEWS, “I was not aware of this particular situation but I understand ANZ has a review system for its investments and that it is taking another look and I think that’s a good thing to do”. 

ANZ Bank announced today it is reviewing its investments related to Saudi Arabia and their involvement in the war in Yemen.

"ANZ Investments has a review underway of any holdings we might have with companies that may supply components to their military.

"Across ANZ NZ Funds under management of over $33 billion we have identified exposure of 0.005% for Raytheon Technologies, 0.016% for Textron and 0.028% for BAE Systems," it said in a statement.  

Swarbrick said: "A review was all well and good, but this should never have happened in the first place,"

"It's just appalling, it's gutting, it's demonstrative of just how obscured these kind of transactions can be inside of our current financial system."

BAE Systems has sold billions of dollars of weapons to the Saudi military, Textron has provided cluster munitions and aircraft to the Saudi military and Raytheon also provides munitions.

The New Zealand Super Fund has tens of millions of dollars invested in the same three companies.

Today a Guardians of NZ Superannuation spokesperson said all its investments go through a "Responsible Investment Framework".

"Last year we began a refresh of our framework. This work will consider our approach to exclusions, which currently blocks investment in companies involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions, nuclear weapons and anti-personnel mines."

In 2016 it was revealed many KiwiSaver funds were investing in cluster munitions and landmines.

At the time the former Prime Minister John Key declined to carry out a review saying, "I don't think there's a big enough issue there to argue that case".

"In the end every KiwiSaver investor needs to look at the investments they're making and make the decision about whether that's an ethical investment."

Sir John is now the ANZ Bank's local chairperson.