Finalists Announced for Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards: Celebrating the leaders

19th June 2023

Mindful Money is pleased to announce the finalists for this year’s Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards. There were 40 entries in 8 different award categories, judged by 28 independent experts. The judging process has been rigorous and achieved consensus in each category, selecting a strong field of finalists.

Mindful Money is pleased to announce the finalists for this year’s Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards. There were 40 entries in 8 different award categories, judged by 28 independent experts. The judging process has been rigorous and achieved consensus in each category, selecting a strong field of finalists.

Judging is the crucial step in the process of celebrating excellence in ethical and impact investing. We are thrilled for the finalists and hugely grateful for the time that judges have put into selecting these worthy finalists. Now we eagerly await the announcement of the winners in each category at the awards ceremony on 29th June in Auckland.

The ethical investment market continues to grow and mature in New Zealand. Ethical and responsible investment has become a requirement for sound investment management, but there is a huge variation in what that means in practice. These awards are a way of not only celebrating the leaders but also demonstrating what high standards of ethical investment looks like in a sector that has few regulatory standards. The awards show that the public have more choice and higher ethical standards, backed by stronger evidence and authenticity, than in previous years.

As revealed in the recent survey by Mindful Money and the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) there has been a significant increase in the proportion of the public interested in investing with positive impact and in climate solutions. This is still a relatively small segment of the New Zealand investment sector, but rapidly growing both in terms of dedicated funds and mainstreaming of positive impact companies in KiwiSaver and investment portfolios. These awards recognise and celebrate the impact leaders.

Practices in ethical and impact investing are developing quickly across the globe, driven by regulatory standards as well as consumer demand and the commitment of leaders. Government and the finance sector need to seize the opportunity for New Zealand to be amongst the leaders, drawing in capital and using it to accelerate the transition towards sustainability and zero climate emissions.

Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider

The judges were looking for the fund that provided the best outcomes across the main strategies of avoiding harm, engagement to raise social and environmental standards, investing for positive impact and embodying an ethical approach. It has been a turbulent year for financial performance, but the performance of ethical KiwiSaver funds has remained strong and demand continues to grow. As KiwiSaver funding approaches $90 billion in 349 funds, there has been a significant increase in the funds claiming to be ethical. The awards celebrate the KiwiSaver providers that are able to demonstrate commitment and provide evidence of their high ethical standards. The finalists in the awards (in alphabetical order) are:

Generate KiwiSaver

Medical Assurance Society (MAS)


Best Ethical Retail Investment Provider

The judges were looking for the providers able to show evidence of excellence in ethical performance. The judges were impressed with the range of ethical funds and the progress shown by this year’s entrants. Retail investment products amount to around $70 billion invested in around 453 funds, with a growing number identifying as ethical. Of these, the finalists are:

Devon Funds Management

Harbour Asset Management

Pathfinder Asset Management


Best New Ethical Fund

The judges were looking for innovation in a fund launched over the past year, providing New Zealand investors with new options. Overall, the entrants demonstrated innovative approaches and provided exciting new options. The finalists are:

Kernel Global ESG Fund

Pathfinder Green Bond Fund 

Best Impact Investment Fund

The judges were looking for an impact purpose, a rigorous framework for measurement and examples of tangible impact from entrants in this category. The strongest entries were those that were able to demonstrate a direct contribution to impact through their investment. Examples included climate solutions, circular economy and contributions to community-level impact within Aotearoa. The finalists are:

Climate Venture Capital Fund 

Purpose Capital Impact Fund 

Best Net Zero and Climate Action Investor

This category covers both mainstream investment that drives towards net zero and dedicated funds investing in climate solutions. After last year’s survey by Mindful Money, together with the Centre for Sustainable Finance and the Investor Group on Climate Change, we have seen progress in putting in place coherent strategies and actions to drive emissions down in mainstream investment funds. However, international best practice standards are developing quickly and more progress is needed from New Zealand investment providers. Therefore, the judges selected finalists that have made exciting progress in investing in climate solutions:

New Zealand Green Investment Finance 

Climate Venture Capital fund 

Best Ethical Overseas fund

This category was again marked by high standards amongst the entrants, focused on impact as well as ethical investment. These are Australian funds, marketed in New Zealand to financial advisers, institutions and wholesale investors. The judges found that the entries showed the depth and maturity of the Australian market, with strong analysis, evidence of impact and engaging reporting. They add depth and diversity to the range of New Zealand funds on offer. The finalists are:

Alphinity Global Sustainable Equity Fund

Betashares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF 

Impax Sustainable Leaders Fund

Nanuk New World Fund

Pengana WHEB fund

Best Ethical Financial Adviser

The role of financial advice in ethical investing is crucial. Those investing significant capital should have access to advice that reflects their values and aspirations, and those of their family, together with strong capability for research into options and an ability to match their clients with the best available products.  In the past, the financial advice sector has been slow to embrace ethical investing, but now there are some standout exceptions, including the finalists in this category. We are seeing growing interest in ethical financial advice, driven by client demand, and we look forward to many more entries into this category next year. The finalists are:

Carey Church/Moneyworks

Ethical Investing NZ 

Evergreen Advice

Rutherford Rede

Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment

The judges were looking for high standards of journalism on ethical investing, closely attuned to the interests of their audiences. As in previous years, one of the crucial criteria for the judges is the impact that the reporting has in terms of engagement, education and influence. These metrics are often difficult to discern, but provide an important measure for the judges. It is encouraging that there were a number of new entrants this year, showing excellent communications and storytelling, and the judges look forward to seeing more entrants in this category in future. Finalists are:

Greg Hurrell, BusinessDesk

John Berry, Pathfinder with Stuff Business 

Nikki Mandow, Newsroom 

The Curve

The overall standard of entries was high and the judges had real difficulty in being able to shortlist a small number of finalists in each category.

These are all worthy finalists and we look forward to revealing the winners at the awards celebration on 29th June.


We are grateful to our awards sponsors: