News & Updates

Highlights from our Seminar Series

Thu Nov. 19th 2020

You can watch this seminar here.

In this last seminar of our 2020 series, Mindful Money’s Barry Coates pulls out some highlights from the 30 weekly seminars. He is in discussion with Vincent Heeringa, host of a great seminar series, This Climate Business.

One of the themes for the series was the role of investing ethically in tackling key challenges of our time. The discussion included clips from three seminars:

  • The case for divestment from Alcohol, featuring a powerful statement from Rawiri Ratū, campaigner against alcohol injustice
  • Combatting Modern Slavery in New Zealand company supply chains, with an overview of research on worker exploitation from Christina Stringer, Centre for Research on Modern Slavery at the University of Auckland
  • The role of climate finance in tackling Climate Change, as explained by Hon. James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change

As a second theme, Barry noted that the overall series also looked at ethical investing from different perspectives. He showed short clips that reflected on some different lenses that can be applied:

  • A gender lens talking about the role of women as investors and leaders, outlined by Angela Meyer from the Gender Justice Collective
  • A perspective on how ethical and impact investing relates to a Māori worldview, featuring Temuera Hall, founder of the TAHITO fund
  • And a great story of youth action from Sir Jonathon Porritt, echoing the fascinating journey he traces in his recently released book, Hope in Hell

The series also includes seminars on the Sustainable Finance Forum which released its final report in early November 2020 and an really interesting interview with the CEO of the Financial Markets Authority, Rob Everett on the need for financial companies to have a business purpose that goes beyond short term profits.

The third theme was about the case for investing ethically and with impact. The series started with presentations about resilience in financial returns in the early days of the COVID pandemic from four ‘Mindful Funds’ (ethical funds on the Mindful Money platform) - CareSaver, Booster, Simplicity and Amanah.

  • Investment guidance about investing wisely was included in seminars from Mary Holm, media commentator and author of the book Rich Enough; and Tom Hartmann, managing editor of the Sorted website.
  • There were several seminars talking about strategies for responsible investing, including through the use of Environmental Social and Governance ESG management and Engagement. In a clip, Rebekah Swan from AMP Capital provided examples of where engagement by funds achieved change, followed by interesting seminars of how investor engagement can support ethical policies by companies like Kathmandu and Ethique

The fourth theme focused on Impact investing – investment that is focused on making positive change.

  • A panel with some members of the Impact Investment network provided an overview of the development of impact investing in New Zealand
  • A profile of the first four impact funds to establish in New Zealand, available to professional investors but not retail investors, showed their different strategies and profiles – Impact Enterprise Fund, Purpose Capital, te Puna Hapori and a new Climate Venture Fund.
  • The subsequent seminar took a deep dive into the issue of a Social Housing Bond by the Salvation Army. A clip from Sam Goldwater CEO of Generate KiwiSaver showed how it fits into the investment approach of a mainstream fund.

And finally, if you haven’t yet managed to find your ethical KiwiSaver or investment fund, the last clip from John Berry, CEO of CareSaver included a call to action and a plug for Mindful Money.

Thanks to the principal sponsors - Booster Asset Management, Generate KiwiSaver, Harbour Asset Management and Sustainalytics; contributing sponsors - AMP Capital, Kiwi Wealth, Mercer and Milford Asset Management; and supporting sponsor - Devon Funds Management.

Thanks for participating in the seminar series. Please let us know ( what you want to see on the 2021 series, and join our mailing list to hear about our plans and other events, research, and news.