Govt `invests in cluster bomb companies'

The government is investing in companies that manufacture cluster bombs in breach of an international convention it has signed, the Green Party says.

Co-leader Russel Norman says the National Provident Fund and the Government Superannuation Fund have jointly invested $2.2 million in Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications and Raytheon.

Dr Norman says all three are involved in manufacturing cluster bombs.

"New Zealanders will be horrified to know their government is profiting from the production of cluster munitions - bombs that kill so indiscriminately, 98 per cent of all reported casualties from them are civilians," he said on Friday.

"When we adopted the Cluster Munitions Convention in 2008, we made a commitment to `never under any circumstances assist or encourage' the cluster munitions industry."

Dr Norman says an opinion sought from the Auditor-General maintains that investment in cluster bomb manufacturers is clearly illegal.

His information about the investments comes from written parliamentary questions to Finance Minister Bill English.

"Mr English must direct the National Provident Fund and the Government Superannuation Fund to divest from investment vehicles that hold companies involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs and ensure they improve their screening systems so this doesn't happen again."

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