Super Fund ducks for cover over Cullen’s musings
The New Zealand Super Fund is staying mum on suggestions that it should invest more of its pot into the domestic economy.
Among the Labour party’s economic policies released today is the idea of encouraging the Fund to lift its investments in New Zealand.
Labour’s policy was also tentatively worded – rather than suggesting any specific changes, it said the party would discuss with the fund what changes might be needed to bring in higher local investment.
Deputy leader Michael Cullen said the changes would not affect the fund’s focus on getting the best return on investments.
A spokeswoman for the Super Fund said she could not comment on potential government policy. “We have a strong commitment to invest in New Zealand,” she said.
A chunky 23% of the fund’s $14 billion is already invested domestically.
The fund is still preparing its response to similar ideas mooted in a report by NZX chief executive Mark Weldon and NZ Institute chief David Skilling at the end of last week.
They suggested the Super Fund and other government savings pots (including ACC and Earthquake Commission funding) should be merged and directed to place a specified proportion of investments in New Zealand.
“The current crisis creates a case for examining whether these assets are being invested in a way that maximises the national interest,” they said. It would not need to sacrifice performance.