Reduced income after ‘ethical investment’ decision

Ethical investment decisions made by the Dunedin City Council last year have led to substantially reduced returns from investment funds.

ODT reports: City pays cost for divesting

Some of the Dunedin City Council’s divestment decisions have cost the city, it was revealed at yesterday’s council finance committee meeting.

Group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said the Waipori Fund had realised some losses as a result of the council’s decision to divest from some sectors, but the total amount was not clear.

The council voted last May to scrap any investments the fund had in the munitions, tobacco, fossil fuel extraction, gambling or pornography industries and to bar future investment in those industries.

While they are now forbidden areas of investment I haven’t seen any claims that there were any investments in munitions, tobacco or pornography.

Is oil, coal and mineral extraction really on the same ethical level as them? To the Greens perhaps. Or they wanted to make ‘ethical investment’ sound better when their target was primarily mining and drilling.

The ethical investment policy gave the fund two years to exit those industries, but Mr McKenzie confirmed yesterday the last of its positions – BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – were sold earlier this year.

But there were investments in mining, something Greens want to stop – and there’s a definite Green lean to the Dunedin City Council.

‘‘We are now in a position that we have completely divested in those shares,” he said.

The fund had produced $783,000 in profit during the eight months to February 29. However, this was $1.657 million down on the budgeted $2.44 million profit.

Some of the unfavourable variance was because of divestment losses, Mr McKenzie said.

  • Budgeted $2.44 million profit
  • Actual $783,000 profit

That’s a significant reduction to under a third of budgeted returns.

Green anti-mining and anti-drilling policies appear have come at a significant cost to Dunedin ratepayers.

And we still need oil and mineral products.

And we don’t seem to have made millions from clean green alternatives.

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18 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  30th March 2016

    Stupidity is rampant. Maybe the solution is identify the Green supporters and put their rates up to compensate.

    Reply
  2. Iceberg

     /  30th March 2016

    The road to hell is lined with Green intentions.

    It’s just another drop in a trillion dollar taxpayer bucket being squandered every year on projects that “feel” good.

    Reply
  3. Pantsdownbrown

     /  30th March 2016

    The hypocrisy of the Councillors is astounding – I take it in their personal/work lives they don’t utilise anything that is due to oil, coal and mineral extraction?

    PC gone mad.

    http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2011/10/07/11-cases-of-political-correctness-gone-mad/

    Reply
    • @ PDB – LOL ! 😀 I really like “celery searches” 😀

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  30th March 2016

      Use anything that’s made from or uses oil ? Of course they don’t. Cars, computers…none of those.

      Reply
  4. Pete Kane

     /  30th March 2016

    Electric cars Pete? I mean you guys have a great ‘leadership’ record on the auto front.

    Reply
  5. David

     /  30th March 2016

    Idiots sold just as there was a recovery in oil and other commodities from historic lows, fools. Local government and the Greens, sheesh maybe they should start a hedge fund.

    Reply
  6. Oliver

     /  30th March 2016

    What we are witnessing is a shift in consciences. Fossil fuels are the second biggest threat to mankind, next to agriculture. We should be praising the council for saving lives. They put people’s lives over profit, and that’s the way it should be.

    Reply
    • @ Oliver – Perhaps also a change of consciousness? For instance, the idea that human well-being is not necessarily dependent on continual and/or rapid economic growth? That GDP alone is not necessarily a very good measure of human well-being? That in some instances it might be possible to do more with less? That well-being might involve some things that cannot even be bought and sold or measured in financial, productivity or ‘efficiency’ terms? [The naysayers will accuse me of “organic utopianism” or something? 😎 I can hear the sedge grass russling already]

      I found this interesting little parable on another site –

      http://www.localise.nz/2016/03/24/never-saw-it-coming-the-parable-of-the-high-flyers/

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  30th March 2016

        “That in some instances it might be possible to do more with less”

        There’s not a council in the country that has been able to achieve that.

        Every time the council buys ANY product or service they make an investment in the fossil fuel/extraction industries. It’s absurd for councillors to be making moral judgements over the use of other people money. Just give the money back to ratepayers and they can buy their own unicorns.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  30th March 2016

          Maybe people like Oliver don’t mind not having roads and water mains mended, bus services run, dog control attended to and other things done by councils, but most people do and don’t want the council to make a loss.

          Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  30th March 2016

      Stupidity is the biggest threat to mankind Oliver – the far-left extremists have it in spades.

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  30th March 2016

      Do you drive around in a Fred Flinstone car and not use any appliances, Oliver ? If not, don’t be a hypocrite.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  30th March 2016

        Flintstone car-one where the ‘driver’ has their feet on the road and walks the car along it.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  30th March 2016

          Don’t be silly KC – Like James Shaw of the Greens Oliver has made a stand and doesn’t own a car for ‘environmental’ reasons – instead he just gets others to drive him around in their cars……….problem solved!

          “Aged 16, Mr Shaw decided he would not learn to drive for environmental reasons. He has maintained that stance while living in Wellington, Brussels, and London”. NZ Herald.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  30th March 2016

            The others, of course, have longer to go and use more fuel because they have to pick him up and drop him off again, but that’s all right. He’s protecting the environment by having this happen. Er…how ?

            When we last heard, Oliver was a truck driver, so his objections to the use of fuel seem a little hollow.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th March 2016

              If agriculture’s the biggest threat to mankind-what does Oliver expect us to live on, in both senses of the word ? We need to eat something, and without agriculture it’s hard to see how anyone could grow anything. What does he think that agriculture is ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th March 2016

              All food is grown by some form of agriculture, even the few silverbeet plants in the back garden. Maybe Oliver would like us to live on ‘air pie and windy pudding.’

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