Responsible investments for KiwiSaver schemes

KiwiSaver schemes will be required to disclose their approach to responsible investment from 1 April 2008 under legislative proposals released today by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.
Press Release

KiwiSaver schemes will be required to disclose their approach to responsible investment from 1 April 2008 under legislative proposals released today by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

The proposals have been designed to enable New Zealanders enrolled in KiwiSaver to have full confidence in the environmental and social credentials of the investments made on their behalf by KiwiSaver and KiwiSaver complying schemes.

“Growing numbers of shareholders worldwide want to ensure that their investments do not support activities or practices they do not approve of,” the Ministers said. “Many are also taking that a step further and want their investments to support activities and practices they do approve of.

“KiwiSaver providers will have to disclose in their investment statements whether their investment policies and procedures take into account responsible investment criteria including environmental, social and governance considerations.

“If they do, they must tell members where they can obtain further information on the extent to which they take responsible investment into account. This will also allow funds with responsible investment policies to market their credentials.

“The Securities Commission will provide guidance notes for funds over the next few months,” the Ministers said.

The changes were outlined in Budget 2007 and it is proposed that they will be included in the taxation bill currently before Parliament by means of a supplementary order paper that amends the KiwiSaver Act.