Kiwi parliament votes down ethical investment bill
New Zealand’s government has been criticised for voting down a bill that would have seen state money invested ethically.
New Zealand MP’s voted 63 votes to 58 against the Ethical Investment Bill, which would have required Crown Financial Institutes to invest their money ethically.
Robert Howell, chief executive of New Zealand’s Council for Socially Responsible Investment, said the vote against the bill was “short sighted”.
“The Government has unfortunately missed the opportunity to require a more robust business approach for the Crown Financial Institutions,” Howell said.
He added that the bill would have removed the hypocrisy from the government’s current stance on ethical investment.
Howell said: “In New Zealand we recognise that there are social and environmental boundaries that the market cannot determine, and which are provided by legislation.
“Investment, for example, cannot be used to severely damage the environment, or for companies that use child labour.
“As New Zealanders we accept this here, but the criteria for the CFIs does not restrict that type of investment overseas.
“It is not OK to pollute here in New Zealand, but it is OK overseas.
“The Bill would have removed that contradiction.”