KiwiSaver Secrets Exposed

Publish Date
Thursday, 18 August 2016, 11:30AM

A Herald investigation into KiwiSaver funds has found pervasive holdings - totalling more than $100 million - by members of the public in companies considered so controversial the government-owned New Zealand Superannuation Fund has blacklisted them.

The exclusions range from companies involved in tobacco industry, to those breaching international agreements New Zealand has signed banning nuclear and cluster weapons and landmines, and mining companies guilty of gross human rights abuses.

Analysis by the Herald Insight team of annual disclosure filings to the Financial Markets Authority allowed tens of thousands of investments held by more than 70 funds to be analysed.

The analysis shows most New Zealanders with KiwiSaver accounts - more than three million people have accounts in the retirement savings scheme worth $32.5b - are exposed to controversial companies.

For instance, more than two million New Zealanders are found to have collectively - and likely unwittingly - invested $102m into tobacco companies.

KiwiSaver funds analysed by the Herald have been approached for comment and further findings will be released this afternoon as they respond.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said he was "horrified" by the nature of the KiwiSaver investments.

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