Two years to sell DCC investments

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 companies''.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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)

 

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