2023 Award Winners: Media Release

30th June 2023

There was a packed room of 150 people at the Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment awards yesterday afternoon. The event started with a conference that focused on mobilising finance for the climate transition.

Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards 2023

Celebrating leaders in the transition towards ethical investment

There was a packed room of 150 people at the Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment awards yesterday afternoon. The event started with a conference that focused on mobilising finance for the climate transition. 

Barry Coates, Founder and CEO of Mindful Money commented: “This third annual conference focused on how New Zealand investment could become a force for accelerating action on climate change. There was a heightened sense of urgency, underscored by stark warnings from leading climate scientist, James Renwick. The audience challenged political parties to go further and faster in their climate policies.”

The conference panel on climate investment discussed the hard-hitting new report launched by Mindful Money yesterday. The report shows that most companies in the fossil fuel industry have failed to make the transition to renewable energy and more than two thirds of companies are doubling down by increasing their exploration and production of oil and gas. There is $3 billion of KiwiSaver and retail funds invested in those companies. 

The Ethical and Impact awards followed the conference, opened by speeches from Sir Jonathon Porritt, France Cook and Barry Coates. Jesse Mulligan added the humour and light touch as the MC.

Barry Coates reminded the audience about why the awards were established: “The annual awards are about raising standards in the investment sector through profiling and celebrating the leaders. The twenty eight judges in eight awards categories brought independence and expertise to the judging process. This third year of the awards has affirmed the important role of these awards in celebrating excellence and highlighting best investment practice.”

“The award winners show innovation and leadership in ethical and impact investing. There is justification for public concern over greenwashing and exaggerated claims around ethical investment - the winners showed what it looks like when investment providers walk the talk. The awards showed there has been real progress in higher standards, more choices for individual investors and scaled up positive impacts for the climate, environment and social issues.”  

"One of the most important roles for the awards is to contribute to building a larger and stronger community of investment leaders who share a passion and commitment for making investment a force for good,” Coates said.


Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider

Best New Ethical Fund


Photo: The Pathfinder Asset Management team celebrating their awards

The night’s biggest winner was Pathfinder Asset Management, winner of the Most Ethical KiwiSaver Provider, winner of the Best New Ethical Fund award for the Green Bond Fund, and highly commended in the Best Retail Ethical Investment Provider. Pathfinder’s John Berry also won the Best Media Reporting award for his opinion series in collaboration with Stuff.

Mindful Money congratulates Pathfinder for their strong commitment to excellence in both ethical practices and financial management. They have again showed that good impacts and good returns are mutually reinforcing, rather than being a trade-off. 

The judges congratulated Pathfinder for the way they have continued to raise the bar on best practice. An important criterion for both of these categories is investing for positive impact. Pathfinder has expanded its impact investments over the past year in solar energy, social housing and the circular economy. They have continued to demonstrate their strong social purpose throughout their organisation. 

Best Ethical Retail Investment Fund

Photo: Temuera Hall (in the middle) and the team from TAHITO

There was huge applause for first time winner, TAHITO. As the first fund to embody te Ao Māori principles in an investment fund, TAHITO brings a hugely important new dimension to investing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The judges recognised the important pioneering role that TAHITO is playing in bringing indigenous knowledge into investment management. While TAHITO is still a small provider, their Te Tai o Rahua fund has shown how a te Ao Māori perspective can be integrated into financially-sound investment. 

Best Overseas Ethical Fund

The Best Overseas Ethical Fund award honours the funds that are registered overseas but actively marketed in New Zealand. They are typically included in the portfolios of financial advisers and institutions. 

The award went to Pengana WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund, the winner in 2022. The judges were impressed by the framework for stewardship and avoiding harmful investments, including cases where a lack of progress has resulted in divestment. The fund sets a high standard for reporting on the positive impact from companies in their portfolio, along with excellent communications to financial advisers and clients. 

The judges highly commended the Betashares Global Sustainability ETF. They were impressed by the strong framework for avoiding harm and their innovative approaches towards stewardship. This includes the BetaShares Responsible Investment Committee reviewing their voting positions and advising on thematic engagements. They welcomed BetaShares planned launch of PIE funds in New Zealand. 

The Best Impact Investment Fund

The Best Net Zero and Climate Action Investor

The judges commended Purpose Capital on their progress since the awards last year. The judges were impressed by the clear focus for the Purpose Capital Impact fund, and the sound framework for impact measurement. This includes the important step in including validation from local communities and intended beneficiaries. They welcome the contributions to the success of ventures through advice and support that extends beyond financial investment. 

Photo: Bill Murphy on the right) and the team from Purpose Capital.

The winner of the Climate award was Climate Venture Capital Fund which was also highly commended in the Impact Fund category. The judges were impressed by their significant contribution to the establishment and growth of companies in their portfolio, through providing climate expertise, impact measurement and commercial advice. The judges also recognised the important role the founders have played in building the climate solutions sector as a whole. 

Photo: Rohan MacMahon and Lance Wiggs from Climate Venture Capital Fund

New Zealand Green Investment Finance was highly commended in the Climate category. The judges recognised the growth and development of the Green Investment Finance since last year, including gaining a further $300 million contribution from the government. The list of new investments is growing and is opening up new avenues for private sector investors. 

Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment


Photo: John Berry, Pathfinder


The Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment was awarded to John Berry in collaboration with Stuff. The judges were impressed by the number of articles written by John Berry, their fresh and topical approach, and their impact in terms of reach. The articles provide new storylines to engage audiences in ethical issues and they help build public understanding and support for the ethical investment sector as a whole.

A highly commended award went to Nikki Mandow, from Newsroom. The judges were highly impressed by the in-depth journalism shown in Nikki Mandow’s entry. The stories combine strong story-telling with insights and a multi-media approach, incorporating high quality podcasts. 

A second highly commended award went to The Curve. The judges considered that the Curve’s podcast series was innovative and well-attuned to the interests of their audience, providing younger women with entertaining and informative content on ethical investment. 


Best Ethical Financial Adviser

Photo: Carey Church from Moneyworks and Mark Holtham from Ethical Investing NZ

For the first time in the three years of these awards, there were co-winners of a category. The judges were impressed by the depth of research and analysis applied to client and investment processes. Carey Church and the Moneyworks team have developed tools and systems to verify the policies and practices of different investment options. The commitment of Moneyworks to ethical investing was evident and supported by their recent B-Corps certification.

The judges were impressed by the way that Ethical Investing NZ has developed strong processes to get to know their clients’ ethical preferences. This includes a holistic approach to defining long term goals and values, encompassing family and community relationships. They provide a high standard of transparency so that clients are given full information about costs at the start of engagements. 

Barry Coates concluded: “Congratulations to the winners in these awards and those highly commended. Their commitment and passion for ethics and sustainability was evident in these awards. Their example inspires others to raise their standards.”

“Congratulations also to all of the finalists. Each of these categories was closely contested and some excellent funds did not receive awards. We encourage them, and others who are on the pathway towards best practice to enter the awards next year.”


Mindful Money secured generous support for the conference from the following sponsors:

High Level sponsors: Booster Asset Management, New Zealand Green Investment Finance

Major sponsors: Medical Assurance Society (MAS)

Supporting sponsors: Devon Funds, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Pathfinder Asset Management

Support for the awards was provided by the following sponsors: 

Major sponsors: Mercer, Milford Asset Management

Supporting sponsors: Australian Ethical, Lifestages, New Zealand Green Investment Finance 

More photos of the awards and conference can be found here.