A pioneering new report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) shows that investments that deliver measurable, positive social and environmental impact are set to grow exponentially in Aotearoa New Zealand over coming years.

99 investors – accounting for more than NZ$83.5 billion of New Zealand’s assets under management – participated in New Zealand’s inaugural impact investment survey conducted by RIAA in partnership with The University of Auckland

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Respondents included investors already active in impact investing as well as those not yet active in the field, and comprised investment managers, impact investment fund managers, trusts, foundations, not for profit organisations, individuals, family offices and diversified financial institutions.

Impact Investor Insights Aotearoa New Zealand 2019, sponsored by AMP Capital, reveals that investors anticipate allocating a total of $5.9 billion to impact investing in the medium term – a six-fold increase in the capital currently deployed in impact investments.

This Report makes an important contribution to understanding how the demand for impact investing is shaping in New Zealand. It provides new insights into investors’ awareness and interest in impact investing, as well as the future prospects and challenges facing the growing field.

The Report shows high interest and demand for impact investments from all investor groups, Investors show a preference for private equity, venture capital and real asset investment opportunities. Environment and conservation; clean energy; and health (including medical research), are the most popular impact areas for investors.

Importantly, the report also examines the relationship between the Māori economy and impact investment, and shines a light on some emerging Māori impact investment initiatives.

Nearly three quarters of active impact investors expect competitive or above market rates of return, and the vast majority report that their financial expectations are being met or exceeded. Mission alignment is the primary motivating factor for allocating funds to impact investments amongst active impact investors.

“If we can create more impact investment opportunities, provide greater performance data, and address the other barriers to growth, we’ll see the enormous potential of the finance sector to direct its capital towards solving some of New Zealand’s most important social and environmental challenges” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.