In a recent Stuff opinion piece, Hamish Rutherford recently discussed Labour’s potential plans to require NZ Super to invest in a very specific way.

“While no one from the Government is prepared to discuss the plans, it is understood that Economic Development Minister David Parker wants to carve off hundreds of millions of dollars of the Governments contributions to the Super Fund to be specifically invested into early stage companies,” writes Rutherford.

He says having politicians direct the investments of NZ Super is “dangerous territory”.

“Carving up the Government’s contributions to the fund, and earmarking parts for specific areas appears to be a subtle way to direct the Super Fund’s investments. It could easily become a political tool if politicians were able to use their influence to change investment decisions.

“Once the door to political influence is opened, it will be difficult to close again, and each idea from Parliament is likely to be more questionable than the last.”

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union shares this concern.

“For seventeen years, the Super Fund has been managed independently from the politicians, invested with the sole purpose of maximising returns for the Kiwi taxpayer. This independence has served the Fund well, and increased the security of our pensions,” says Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke.

“The news that David Parker wants to fiddle with the Fund to skew investment towards particular types of companies should send a shiver down the spines of taxpayers.”

“If David Parker was some kind of investment guru, he’d be making millions in the private sector, not pursuing a career in politics. In fact, his investment decisions are guaranteed to be distorted by political motivations. This conflict of interest puts the security of our pensions at risk. The politicians need to stick to their core responsibilities and keep their grubby mitts off our Super!”

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