Hāpai Te Hauora are stunned by the latest news that community members have been unwittingly investing their KiwiSaver into companies that deal in death and destruction.
“We run the National Tobacco Control Advocacy service and our team works hard to reduce the extensive harms caused by tobacco in New Zealand and to get us all to Smokefree 2025, only to discover that we could actually each be contributing to the wealth of tobacco companies through KiwiSaver investments. This announcement has really impacted on the team. As recently as three weeks ago we even questioned the Auckland Council for their investments in Tobacco companies. Now we find ourselves in a similar situation, we potentially all could be investing unknowingly in the product that kills 5,000 New Zealanders a year, as well as other unethical companies. It’s heart breaking”, states Zoe Martin-Hawke, General Manager of the Tobacco Advocacy Service.
As awareness has grown in recent years over global warming and climate change, tobacco company deceit, and alcohol and gambling harm, socially responsible investing has trended toward companies that positively impact the environment and health of communities. “New Zealanders are good people and we want to know that when we do receive our lifelong retirement savings that we can relax with a clear conscious. The Herald announcement of the nature of KiwiSaver investments has destroyed this vision for thousands” states Lance Norman, Chief Executive of Hāpai.
Hāpai looks forward to naming and shaming the retirement saving providers who have invested $32.5b of our money into tobacco and other companies that have been previously blacklisted for their human rights breaches as well as progressing plain packaging of tobacco products as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent further harm to New Zealanders from tobacco companies.