Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is big on virtue signalling, and now that media have taken a look at her Kiwisaver accounts, that virtue signalling makes her look like the world’s biggest hypocrite.

While she was criticising Air New Zealand for making a buck servicing engines for the Saudi Navy, her Kiwisaver fund was profiting from investing in weapons manufacturers:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s KiwiSaver provider ANZ has launched a review after being challenged for investing in three companies that supplied weapons to the Saudi Arabian military during the conflict in Yemen.

Ardern ordered an inquiry into how Air New Zealand came to be servicing engines for the Saudi Navy saying the deal did not pass the “sniff test”.

The war in Yemen is recognised as an international humanitarian crisis, and Air New Zealand has now cancelled the deal with the Saudi navy.

But even as Ardern was speaking on the Air New Zealand deal, her KiwiSaver provider, in which she has had money since at least 2015, owned shares in Britain’s BAE Systems, and two United States companies Textron and Raytheon, all three of which have supplied weapons to the Saudi military since Saudi Arabia became involved in the Yemen war.

The prime minister has been approached for comment.

ANZ said it had launched a review of its investments.

“Given the New Zealand public’s view on recent matters related to Saudi Arabia and their involvement in the war in Yemen, ANZ NZ Investments has a review underway of any holdings we might have with companies that may supply components to their military,” ANZ said in a statement.

An analysis of the three main ANZ /Kiwisaver Funds shows that the problem for virtue signalling MPs goes much further. Below are some of the problematic investments that should be causing problems for the virtue signallers. Their investments in military industries are wider than originally reported:

Military:

  • BAE Systems – makers of missile systems, military aircraft and UAVs, artillery and tanks
  • Oshkosh – maker of specialist military vehicles including Armoured Personnel Carriers
  • Textron – aircraft
  • Raytheon – researches, develops, and manufactures advanced technology products in the aerospace and defense industry, including aircraft engines, avionics, aerostructures, cybersecurity, missiles, air defense systems, and drones
  • Howmet Aerospace – manufactures components for jet engines, fasteners and titanium structures for aerospace applications
  • Rheinmetall AG – Defence arm produces equipment and systems for government, security and military ground, air and naval forces. Products include tanks (Leopard 2 and M1 Abrahms), armoured fighting vehicles, artillery, cannons and amunition
  • Boeing -fighters, bombers and military aircraft including helicopters, UAVs and missiles

This is all rather embarrassing for Jacinda Ardern, but also Chloe Swarbrick, who is doing an awful lot of explaining on Twitter:

Of course there was nothing preventing her from being aware of this, especially since it must surely be incumbent on her, to makes sure her investments meet any rubbish “ethical” standards that she may have.

Imagine the look on their faces then, when they find out they’ve also invested in nuclear energy companies:

AM Electric Power – John E. Amos Power Plant

Nuclear Power:

And while they were signalling their virtue by banning oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, they were profiting handsomely from investments in mining and extensive investments in oil and gas industries.

Oil, Coal & Gas

Mining:

  • BHP Billiton
  • Oil Search Ltd
  • Iluka Resources Ltd

On top of that their funds have extensive holding in vehicle manufacturers and engine makers, particularly aircraft engine makers.

Worse still are the investments in aviation industry stocks, and airports.

Airports/Aviation:

  • Auckland International Airport
  • Flughaven Zurich
  • Fraport AG
  • Air Canada
  • United Airlines
  • Jet Blue Airways
  • Spirit Aerosystems
  • Air New Zealand
  • Boeing

Engine Makers:

  • MTU Aero Engines
  • Cummins
  • Rolls Royce Holdings

Vehicle Manufacturers:

  • Volvo
  • General Motors
  • Ford Motor
  • Volkswagen
  • BMW
  • Isuzu
  • Harley Davidson
  • Hyundai

And perhaps a little embarrassing are the investments in vice stocks involved in gambling and the alcohol industries:

Alcohol:

  • LVMH Moet Hennesey
  • Heineken NV
  • Diageo Plc
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Carlsberg AS
  • Anheuser Bush
  • Whitbread Plc
  • Molson Coors

Gambling:

Now I’m all in favour of maximising investment returns, but I’m not the one lecturing the world about sustainable industries, climate change and banning oil and gas exploration, while waffling on about peace and tut-tutting about investment in supporting militaries around the world.

Talking about climate change as a pressing issue while enriching yourself by investing in car manufacturers, oil and gas industries and energy companies, plus massive polluters like airports seems to be more than a little bit hypocritical.

Jacinda Ardern needs to divest from her problematic Kiwisaver and put her vast sums of savings into more ethical investments, even if that means a lower return.

She has to not only say the right thing but also she needs to do the right thing.

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When Virtue Signalling Goes Wrong
Cam Slater

Cam Slater

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...