Tag Archives: Maori

Canadian pension fund likes New Zealand forest

Note:  Connect the dots:  Harvard, which the Guardian reported, in 2011, was investing in African land grabs, has sold off its holdings in the Kaingaroa forest in New Zealand.  The Kaingora forest has been at the center of a land dispute between indigenous Maori and the New Zealand government, and much of it is now owned by the government and large private investors.  Pension funds and endowments are looking for longer term, more secure investments like agricultural land, forests, and industrial timber plantations.  Especially under increasing pressure to divest from the fossil fuel industry, and invest enormous sums of capital into “green” or “socially responsible” funds, it is likely that land grabbing by institutional funds will increase.  The neoliberal play book apparently missed the chapter on “ethical investing.”

-The GJEP Team

By Paul McBeth, December 19, 2012.  Source: Business Desk

Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board is looking to capitalise on favourable growing conditions and access to Asian markets having taken a 30 percent stake in the central North Island’s Kaingaroa forestry estate.

The Canadian fund sees the 178,000 hectare Kaingaroa estate as an “attractive asset” that has been “very successfully” managed by Timberlands for many years, spokesman Mark Boutet said in an emailed statement.

Among the reasons cited for the investment, Boutet said “there is a strong local domestic softwood processing industry as well as good access to Asian export markets” and that “New Zealand’s central North Island has some of the best growing conditions for softwood plantations.”

PSP Investments, which manages C$64.5 billion pension fund for Canada’s public service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force, bought the stake from Harvard Management Company, which manages Harvard University’s US$30.7 billion endowment fund.
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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Forests, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Victory! Brazilian oil giant Petrobras dumps New Zealand exploration permits

December 4, 2012.  Source: The New Zealand Herald

Photo: NZ Herald

Photo: NZ Herald

Brazilian oil company Petrobras has handed back exploration licences it holds for deep sea oil and gas prospects in the Raukumara Basin, off East Cape, in what appears a reaction to a string of difficulties which have seen the oil giant report losses for the first time in 13 years.

Prime Minister John Key told The New Zealand Herald that the decision was “not a reflection on the capacity to undertake deep-sea drilling or the prospect of activity of that area.”

The Raukumara Basin lies in very deep water off the east coast of the North Island and has barely been explored. Petrobras contracted a seismic survey ship to undertake initial surveys of parts of the basin early last year, where it encountered stiff opposition from a protest flotilla organised by Greenpeace and a local Maori tribe, Te Whanau a Apanui.

The New Zealand Navy was despatched to ensure the seismic survey could continue.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Hydrofracking, Oceans, Oil, Victory!, Water