Greens leaders pull out of KiwiSaver scheme distributed by Kiwibank after Yemen war link

Both Green Party leaders are pulling their money from the Kiwibank-distributed KiwiSaver scheme, after it decided to keep investing in a company that provides munitions to the Saudi military, which is involved in the war in Yemen.

Marama Davidson and James Shaw say they are frustrated over the housing crisis.

"Marama and I will be divesting from Kiwi Wealth," James Shaw told 1 NEWS.

"It is clear we need broader reform to ensure financial institutions invest ethically across the board."

Kiwi Wealth, a state-owned KiwiSaver scheme, decided on Friday to continue its investment in Raytheon Technologies, after it launched a review into whether it should be placed on the exclusion list. 

In a statement, a spokesperson said that Kiwi Wealth is committed to responsible investing.

"Following a review of ESG research on Raytheon Technologies and consultation with the third party investment manager, Kiwi Wealth currently has no intention of adding Raytheon Technologies to its investment exclusions list," head of quantitative and responsible investment Steffan Berridge said on Friday.

"While we do have clear and consistent exclusions, in our experience, reactively excluding companies or whole industries from investment portfolios on the basis of market sentiment or trends in the moment is not a particularly powerful tool or a strong driver of actual change.

"To really drive change we’ve found it more effective to increase the focus on being an engaged investor."

Raytheon Technologies is a US company that makes missiles. Saudi Arabia accounts for five per cent of Raytheon's sales, according to Business Insider.

The UN have said that there are five million people in Yemen  "one step away from famine" , with more than 230,000 Yemenis thought to have died in the war. A UN group of experts on Yemen also said there were "no clean hands" within the warring parties, urging outside states to  cease transferring arms to the parties  at war. 

New Zealand's involvement in the conflict has been put under pressure this month — with 1 NEWS exposing Air NZ's  dealings with the Saudi military , while Stuff revealed ANZ would review its KiwiSaver investments in three companies, including Raytheon, that sell  weapons or munitions to the Saudi military

The New Zealand Super Fund also was found to have tens of millions of dollars invested in the same three companies.

Both Kiwibank and Kiwi Wealth are owned by Kiwi Group Holdings — which is owned by NZ Post, the NZ Superannuation Fund and ACC (all Government owned). The KiwiSaver scheme is promoted on the bank's website.

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