The Green Party of New Zealand is calling the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to divest from its $2.1 million stake in Larsen & Toubro, a Mumbai-based multinational involved in designing and building a fleet of nuclear-armed submarines for India.
A response to a Green Party Written Question revealed that the New Zealand Superannuation Fund holds 44,595 shares in Larsen & Toubro Ltd, which had a valuation of NZ$2,082,736 on June 9, 2011.
“It’s grossly irresponsible for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to be making money out of nuclear proliferation in a region of the world that’s highly unstable,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.“Why are the directors of the Superfund risking our reputation as a responsible member of the world community with this $2.1 million investment?
“India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is rapidly increasing their nuclear weapons arsenal. To profit from the proliferation of their nuclear weapons capability undermines our status as a nuclear free nation and stands completely against the intent of the Treaty.
“We should have nothing to do with investing in this immoral industry.”
Larsen & Toubro is India’s largest defence engineering company and is partnering with the Indian Navy to manufacture their new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. L&T also holds a contract to develop a missile launcher for the Sagarika — a nuclear-tipped, sub-launched cruise missile.
The Green Party has in the past successfully called for the divestment of the New Zealand Superfund’s investment in tobacco companies, cluster bomb manufacturers, and some (but not all) companies involved in the nuclear weapons industry.