A recent report entitled ‘Profiting from War’ challenges New Zealanders not to invest in armaments. Rodger was interviewed about the report by Newstalk ZB. He talked about how it highlighted the choice that New Zealanders have and explained the option of investing responsibly. The report by Peace Action Wellington encourages investors not to ‘profit from war’. It suggests avoiding companies such as Boeing, BAE and Ratheon - the second, third and fourth largest arms companies in the world. The report highlights that these companies are included in many portfolios. The ethical criteria used by the responsible investment funds recommended by Money Matters ensure that these companies are avoided.
There is a long tradition of ethical investors avoiding armaments. In the late 1960’s, fuelled by anti-war sentiments ‘peace portfolios’ were established which invested in companies free of weapons contracts during the Vietnam War. Rodger wrote in his Master’s thesis about how the ‘activist’ approach was adopted in early proxy battles as ethical investors fought for their belief that support for the war was unethical. For example, the Dow Chemical Company, which produced napalm, found itself the target of shareholder resolutions which brought it bad publicity and made it difficult to recruit new graduates into its ranks. In the interview Rodger highlighted that what you do with your money matters.