Going ethical means the Dunedin City Council will have to
cull up to $2.668 million of investments, but saying no to
pornography will require no change.
This comes as the council's decision to go with an ethical
investment policy for the Waipori Fund split Otago Daily
Times readers who responded to a Teletopics survey, with
43% against the move and 57% supporting it.
Those who responded by email had strong views, with one
opponent saying the decision to ''lump'' fossil fuels with
tobacco and pornography was ''simplistic nonsense'', while a
supporter compared the move to abolishing slavery.
The council yesterday revealed going with the policy meant it
would have two years to get rid of up to $2.668 million of
investments from the $76.943 million fund.
As of last month it had $1.965 million invested in petroleum
companies, up from $1.7 million at the start of this year,
$703,000 in Sky City shares (gambling) and no investments in
pornography, tobacco or arms companies.
It had $332,000 worth of direct investments in alcohol
companies, but these would not be affected as councillors
decided against including alcohol in the policy.
Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said the
next step was for a ''Socially Responsible Investment
Policy'' to be prepared.
''Once the council has approved the policy, Dunedin City
Treasury Ltd will have two years to sell Waipori Fund assets
which are in the categories the council has decided to
exclude from direct investment: tobacco, armaments, gambling
and fossil fuel extraction.''
It was important to note petroleum companies were ''not
necessarily'' the same as ''fossil fuel extraction
They said it
- This decision is the only responsible one to make in the
face of our current knowledge about the damage the burning of
fossil fuels is doing to a liveable future climate (Rosemary
Penwarden - Waitati)
- To lump all fossil fuels as a single category and then to
further bracket this category with tobacco and pornography is
simplistic nonsense (David Keen - Port Chalmers)
- At last, a NZ Council making a sensible, ethical, change
for good. Well done and the pressure will now be on to spread
this throughout all of New Zealand Leonie Johnsen
DCC councillors are elected to run the City of Dunedin on
behalf of ratepayers in the most efficient manner, using
legal means. They are in no way mandated to make investments
of public funds selectively, on the basis of their particular
morality (John Alliott - Halfway Bush)
Congratulations to the DCC on divesting from companies that
result in death and destruction (Pat Scott - Mosgiel)
If these councillors truly believe, they would immediately
stop using anything derived from fossil fuel or produced
using it (Lindsay McLeod)