News & Updates

Press Release: Which funds are walking the talk?

Fri March 11th 2022


Ethical investment is on the rise in New Zealand. Most funds claim to be responsible, but billions of dollars are still invested in companies that the public wants to avoid. Mindful Money is launching a new tool that helps the public understand the reality of where their money is invested, focusing on key issues of public concern - Fossil Fuels, Animal Cruelty, and Weapons.

Barry Coates from Mindful Money explains “Most people want to find a fund that aligns with their values, but it has been hard for them to know who to trust. Concerns over greenwashing have been further highlighted by the large number of funds that were invested in Russia at the time of their invasion of Ukraine. Now Mindful Money is introducing badges that will give confidence to investors that claims reflect the reality of fund investments.

Mindful Money is bringing full transparency through badges that ensure investment providers are living up to their claims. There are strict criteria for eligibility to use the badges, assessed against the investment portfolios of KiwiSaver or Investment funds.”

“Now the public can find out who is putting their money where their mouth is.”

74% of New Zealanders want to exclude fossil fuels from their investments, but New Zealand investors provide $2.8 billion in investment to companies that provide oil, gas, and coal in KiwiSaver and retail investment funds.

"350 Aotearoa welcomes Mindful Money's new Fossil Fuel badge for KiwiSaver providers to make it easier for engaged citizens to decide that their money shall no longer prop the industry most responsible for climate collapse." Alva Feldmeier, Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.

85% of Kiwis think it’s important not to invest in cosmetic companies that test their products on animals. Yet a huge $3.4 billion dollars is invested in companies that test their products on animals for non-pharmaceutical use.

“Animal testing for cosmetic purposes inflicts unnecessary harm and death to 500,000 animals annually worldwide. NZAVS is thrilled that Mindful Money’s Animal Cruelty Free badge provides certainty for New Zealanders that their money is not supporting this practice.” Tara Jackson Executive Director for NZAVS.

81% of Kiwis think it’s important not to invest in weapons manufacturing. However, investments in weapons by New Zealand funds totals $391 million, including $15 million in companies that produce nuclear weapons.

“The proliferation of nuclear weapons and other armaments undermines peace, security and human rights. New Zealanders’ funds should not be used for weapons production. These badges will show Kiwis that they have a choice to go weapons free.” Alyn Ware, Peace Educator and Nuclear Disarmament Expert.

Barry Coates concluded: “The full listing of companies in every KiwiSaver and retail investment fund is available on Mindful Money’s website. This is a free service. Every investor should know what companies they are investing in through their KiwiSaver or investment fund.”

“Mindful Money is bringing radical transparency to investment, enabling the public to align their investments with their values. We are a charity helping Kiwis to invest their money in line with their values. The Mindful Money website is quick and easy for anyone to use. www.mindfulmoney.nz

The funds committed to the badges are:

Weapons Free:

  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Balanced Fund
  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Conservative Fund
  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Global Shares Fund
  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Growth Fund
  • Devon Sustainability Fund
  • InvestNow AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Balanced Fund
  • Lighthouse Global Equity Fund
  • Pathfinder Balanced Fund
  • Pathfinder Conservative Fund
  • Pathfinder Growth Fund
  • Tahito Te Tai o Rehua Fund

Fossil Fuels Free:

  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders Global Shares Fund
  • AMP Capital Ethical Leaders NZ Shares Fund
  • Devon Sustainability Fund
  • Harbour Sustainable NZ Shares Fund
  • Lighthouse Global Equity Fund
  • Pathfinder Balanced Fund
  • Pathfinder Conservative Fund
  • Pathfinder Growth Fund
  • Tahito Te Tai o Rehua Fund

Animal Cruelty Free:

  • Pathfinder Conservative Fund
  • Pathfinder Balanced Fund
  • Pathfinder Growth Fund



Notes for Editors:

Mindful Money badges are based on evidence rather than unsubstantiated claims. Mindful Money uses six monthly disclosures of direct investments by fund providers and then undertakes extensive research on the funds that are held within all KiwiSaver and investment funds. This provides a comprehensive ‘look-through’ list of companies in portfolios, with a focus on the key issues that New Zealanders want to avoid, as shown in annual surveys of the New Zealand public.

The criteria for badges are as follows:

  • Fund providers have a policy not to invest in the issue of concern
  • Fund providers hold no investments, as at September 2021, in companies that meet Mindful Money’s thresholds of materiality for these categories, measured to one-hundredth of one percent of their portfolio

Mindful Money has licensed the badges for public use. Fund providers wishing to use the badges in their promotions pay a small fee. A full list of the funds that meet the criteria for the badges is included on Mindful Money’s website.

Total funds invested in each of the three categories from March 2021 data, covered by badges are as follows:

Animal Testing:

  • Managed Funds: $1,155m
  • KiwiSaver: $2,426m

Fossil Fuels:

  • Managed Funds: $1,182m
  • KiwiSaver: $1,192m

Weapons:

  • Managed Funds: $186m
  • KiwiSaver $189m

The total investment in KiwiSaver funds was $92.4 billion and in retail investment funds was $66.8 billion.

Contact:

Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money

barry@mindfulmoney.nz

021 365 165

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