Seminar Series 2021 / 2022

Welcome to the recordings of our second seminar series - bringing you insights from leading ethical fund managers, financial advisers, and international experts in sustainability and finance.


Making Money a Force for Good: Seminar and Podcast Series

Bringing you insights every week from leading ethical fund managers, financial advisers, and international experts in sustainability and finance, moderated by Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money.

Following our successful seminar series in 2020, this series covered a range of issues including climate finance, social housing, animal welfare, nuclear weapons, gender investing, modern slavery and investing with a te Ao Māori worldview.

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Financing for a low emissions future with Hon. James Shaw and Richard Curtis

What role does finance have in order to reach the climate goals to prevent an environmental catastrophe? How can our money help us achieve zero emissions by 2050?

In the run-up to Climate Summit (COP 26), Barry Coates founder and CEO of Mindful Money welcomes climate and finance experts to talk about finance's role in climate change. In this seminar we hear from: Hon. James Shaw: Hon. James Shaw: Co-leader of the Green Party and Minister for Climate Change. Richard Curtis: Make My Money Matter campaign founder, activist, and filmmaker.

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How to Use Your Investments to Help the Climate with Ronan McCabe, Niamh O'Flynn and Dean Anderson
Wednesday 27th of October at 7.30 pm

Your KiwiSaver and investment funds can play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is one of the most powerful ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. 

In this seminar we will talk about how your fund be part of the global fossil fuel divestment movement; put pressure on companies to reduce emissions; and invest in climate solutions such as EVs and clean energy. Join our great panel in a short sharp seminar for climate action. 

Join us to talk about the framework and join a panel discussion with:
  • Ronan McCabe, Chief Investment Officer, Mercer
  • Niamh O'Flynn, Programme Director at Greenpeace NZ
  • Dean Anderson, CEO Kernel Wealth
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What role can private finance play in the race to net zero emissions? Who is leading the way and what is the state of play?

Thursday 4th of November at 3pm

Join us for an informative session facilitated by Her Excellency Laura Clarke the British High Commissioner for a live update from COP26 and a panel discussion with leading New Zealand investors on the path to Net Zero Emissions.

Speakers include:

  • Adrian Orr, Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • Matt Whineray, CEO New Zealand Super Fund
  • Barry Coates, CEO, Mindful Money
  • David Woods, Deputy Chair, NZ Green Investment Finance
  • Bridget Coates, Chair, Toitu Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance
  • Karen Silk, General Manager, Experience Hub, Westpac New Zealan
  • John Berry, CEO,Pathfinder
  • Tom Arup, Director of Strategic Programmes, Investor Group for Climate Change

Limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels requires a whole economy transition – every company, bank, insurer and investor will have to adjust their business models, develop credible plans for the transition and implement them. In this session you’ll learn more about the role of private finance in meeting our collective goals for an equitable and low emissions economy.

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Rod Oram Live from COP26: Will the Glasgow Agreement mobilise finance for climate action?

Wednesday 10th of November at 8pm

Time is running out. Instead of the steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we need, the level of emissions keeps rising.

The Climate Summit COP26 is a crucial opportunity to put the Paris Agreement into action and prevent climate chaos.

In the final few days of the summit, business journalist Rod Oram will report on the progress of negotiations, the prospects for real progress and the future implications for finance.

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Leveraging mainstream funds for social housing




New Zealand’s largest cities have some of the least affordable housing in the world. Over the past 20 years, home ownership rates have fallen across all age bands, but especially younger people. This seminar will look at the role of KiwiSaver funds and investment funds as a potential source of funding to build social housing. 

The panel are all involved in exciting developments that are set to ramp up private finance and the provision of social housing.
  • Hope Simonsen, National Housing manager at Emerge Aotearoa, which provides long term social housing and tenancy and property management services for transitional housing for whānau and individuals from Whangarei to Invercargill.
  • James Palmer, Chief Executive and founder of Community Finance and Positive Capital. James was previously Chief Executive of Christian Savings, Aotearoa’s only charity that is also a licensed non-bank deposit taker, managing almost $250m.
  • Sam Goldwater, co-Founder and Executive Director of Generate KiwiSaver. Sam has over 20 years of financial markets experience, including fixed income sales and trading for the National Bank of New Zealand Treasury, co-manager of bonds at First NZ Capital, and experience in London.    
  • Shamubeel Eaqub is an economist, author, media commentator and a thought-leading public speaker. He has over a decade of experience as an economist in international banks and consultancies, and is on the boards of charities and commercial firms. He writes books on issues that matter to New Zealand and gives voice to the unheard.

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Investing for positive impact:

New directions for Impact Investment in New Zealand

The growth of impact investment internationally and in New Zealand has been remarkable. There is a wide range of different types of approaches and funds.

This seminar will examine two examples of new impact funds being developed for New Zealand investors.

The panelists include:

  • Natalie Whitaker, CEO of Toha Foundry, Impact Investment Marketplace, focusing on agricultural regeneration
  • Jackson Rowland, Director Ākina Invest and Director of the Impact Enterporise Fund
  • Simon Pannett Director, Senior Credit Analyst at Harbour Asset Management

Facilitated by Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money.

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Impact Investment: How we can scale up in Aotearoa

It’s an attractive proposition – create positive outcomes for the climate, society and the environment, and also earn a financial return. 

The problem is that there, so far, are few opportunities for investors in Aotearoa. 

Impact investment is still in its infancy here although it is growing rapidly internationally. Our panel will discuss ways to scale up and grow the impact sector while maintaining the integrity of the term ‘impact investing’. 

We will look at the need for impact funds to support exciting start-ups and SMEs; the market opportunities; the need for a supportive policy environment; and the role of the public in creating demand for investment opportunities.

We have a great panel to discuss these issues, facilitated by Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money

  • Roy Thompson: co-founder and managing director of New Ground Capital
  • Jo Kelly: CEO of Toitū Tahua, the Centre for Sustainable Finance
  • Rachel Brown: CEO of Sustainable Business Network

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Gender perspectives on investment

Women are renowned for being savvy shoppers. So it may not be surprising that when women do invest, they are often better investors.

So, how come Kiwi women are more likely to retire into poverty?

For our next seminar, we welcome an incredibly experienced panel to discuss what women-orientated investment looks like, and how we can tackle the barriers that women often face in investing.

  • Victoria Harris, Co-Founder of the Curve and Portfolio Manager at Devon Funds
  • Kirsty Campbell, Director, and Commercial Adviser

Facilitated by Bridget Coates, founder of Arc Angels, which connects investors with female entrepreneurs.

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Modern Slavery and the investment response

Modern slavery refers to different forms of institutional slavery that still occurs in societies around the world, including Aotearoa New Zealand.

It deprives around 40 million people worldwide of freedom and human rights and leads to massive suffering, particularly amongst women and girls.

This seminar will discuss the response to modern slavery through the work of trade unions, businesses and investors, at a time when there are growing calls for the New Zealand government to legislate

We will be talking with:

  • Anne-Maree O’Connor, Head of Responsible Investment for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund
  • Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Sustainability for Countdown Supermarkets
  • Edward Miller, Researcher at FIRST Union, and spokesperson for It's Our Future

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Using investment to tackle trafficking and exploitation

Almost 5 million people are enslaved in forced commercial sexual exploitation worldwide - the vast majority are women and children.

Tearfund is a charity that tackles trafficking and other forms of modern slavery through the five P’s approach: prevention, prosecution, protection, policy, and partnership with grassroots organisations.

Their work is supported by a new fund recently launched by Nikko Asset Management, the Freedom Fund.

This seminar will talk about the campaign to combat child trafficking and the role of investment in providing support.

Join us as we talk to:

  • George Carter, Managing Director, Nikko AM New Zealand
  • Ian McInnes, Chief Executive Officer, Tearfund

Bringing the power of investment to improve ESG performance

It is now common practice for responsible investment managers to engage with businesses to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

However, the involvement of larger investors and collaborative action is now raising the power of engagement to another level. Investors have recently flexed their influence at Exxon’s AGM to replace three directors, persuaded companies to set emissions reduction targets, forced changes in social media companies in the wake of the Christchurch terrorism, and supported climate action through the Transition Pathway initiative.

This seminar will look at whether this is ushering in a major change in global corporate governance and responsible investing.

Join us as we talk to:

  • Doug Bell, Senior Investment Strategist for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund
  • Iris Davila, Head of BlackRock Investment Stewardship team in Australia
  • Laura Hillis, Director of Corporate Engagement for the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)

Are you concerned about whether your money is invested in Russia?

Recently there has been intense concern from the public over whether their money is supporting the Kremlin.

Mindful Money’s analysis showed that hundreds of KiwiSaver and investment funds were still invested in Russian government bonds and companies linked to the Putin regime during the build-up of troops around Ukraine’s border. As a result, the value of their investments has plummeted and their reputations have been damaged.

Join us as we dive deeper into investment in Russia, and the response from the finance industry.

We will be talking with:

David Beattie, Principal at Booster NZ

John Berry, CEO at Pathfinder Asset Management Limited

Tanya Gilchrist, Financial Adviser at Decision Makers

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Did you know that your KiwiSaver could be financing the production of nuclear weapons?

With Russia threatening their use to bolster their invasion of Ukraine, and nuclear tensions also high between India and Pakistan, North Korea and USA, and China and USA - there hasn't been a better time to make sure you're not supporting the production of nuclear weapons.

Join us as we talk with Alyn Ware, who has gained a reputation for his international work on disarmament and peace, including playing a leading role in nuclear disarmament initiatives at the United Nations, International Court of Justice, and key parliaments around the world.

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Are you Supporting Animal Cruelty through your investments?

Animal testing is a cruel and inhumane practice that results in the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of animals every year.

But did you know that your KiwiSaver could be inadvertently supporting this practice?

While New Zealand has banned animal testing for cosmetics, it is still common practice abroad. Many brands, including some of the world's most popular, still test their products on animals, and investigations show animals experiencing huge suffering as a result.

New Zealanders financially support foreign companies that test on animals through our investments, with billions of dollars investing in those companies across our KiwiSaver and investment funds.

Join us for our next seminar, as we talk through divesting from animal suffering with:
- Tara Jackson, Executive Director of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS)
- Diana Papadopoulos, Chief Customer Officer at Booster NZ

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Investing in Green Property

Buildings play a crucial role in sustainability and our wellbeing. Commercial buildings account for the largest share of carbon emissions from the built environment, which is up to 20% of New Zealand’s gross emissions on a life cycle basis. This seminar will look at Precinct’s pathway towards sustainability in the commercial building sector, the development of higher standards and different forms of certification.

As well as opportunities for retail investors to invest directly in green property funds, green buildings are a growing part of mainstream ethical investment funds. Milford will discuss how investment funds engage with property companies in supporting sustainability and encouraging higher standards.

Join us as we talk with:

  • Alain McKinney, Project Director at Precinct
  • Frances Sweetman, Portfolio Manager and Head of Sustainable Investment at Milford
  • Craig Stobo, Chairman of Precinct

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    Standards for Ethical Investing

    What is meant by ethical or responsible investing is not universally agreed, and the lack of clarity causes confusion amongst investors.

    For much of the finance sector, responsible investing means managing financial risks from environmental, social, and governance factors, while for individual investors, ethical investing means improving the real world impact of investment on issues including climate change, sustainability and inequality.

    This seminar will outline the main ethical investment strategies and discuss progress on the development of standards for each.

    We will be talking with:

    • Andrew Jamieson, Partner, Strategy & ESG Leader, PwC NZ
    • Jo Kelly, CEO at Toitū Tahua:Centre for Sustainable Finance
    • Simon O’Connor, Chief Executive of Responsible Investment Association of Australasia
    WATCH NOW

    Investing with a te Ao Māori perspective

    Mātauranga Māori is a body of knowledge encapsulating life experiences that form the basis of Māori identity, language, cultural practices and value systems.

    The development of distinctive Māori approaches to sustainability and ethical investment are not only important to tangata whenua, but also to the broader investment community and the public.

    Join us for a panel discussion with:

    • Temuera Hall, TAHITO Fund
    • David Tikao, Ngai Tahu
    • WATCH NOW

    Using investment to drive down emissions and support climate solutions

    One of the most powerful ways that individuals can act to reduce their carbon footprint is through their investments.

    Many of the KiwiSaver and retail investment providers, including Russell Investments, have targets to reduce their emissions, using their selection of low carbon investments, engaging with companies and investing in climate solutions.

    The government-funded NZ Green Investment Finance is making investments to support a range of companies leading the way in reducing climate emissions.

    Join us for a panel discussion talking with:

    • Matthew Arnold, Director of Russell Investments
    • Craig Weise, CEO of New Zealand Green Investment Finance

    • WATCH NOW

    Nature-based investing

    Join us for a panel discussion on nature based investing, covering the reasons why to focus on investments in nature; the spectrum of investment impacts from harm to regeneration; initiatives at the international and New Zealand levels; and opportunities for both investment returns and contributing to healthy natural systems..

    • Dr. Simon Zadek, Chair of Finance for Biodiversity, Senior Advisor to the Taskforce on Nature-based Financial Disclosure (TNFD), former co-Chair of UNEP Finance Inquiry and Senior Adviser on Finance in the office of the UN Secretary-General
    • Gael Ogilvy, Nature's Grace Aotearoa, consultant and adviser on conservation and nature-based financing 

    WATCH NOW

    Crypto beyond bitcoin

    Amidst the debates over bitcoin investment, speculation and climate impacts, there is broader and potentially far more significant set of opportunities emerging from the world of proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies and decentralised autonomous organisations.

    Our panel will provide insights into the disruptive impact of these emergent trends, the changes they are catalysing and the implications for investment risks and opportunities.

    We will be joined by:

    • Andy Ayrey, Founder of Constellate
    • Alex Sims, Associate Professor in Department of Commercial Law at University of Auckland and Associate at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies
    • Rowan Yoeman, Founder of socialleancanvas.com, Global Facilitator of Startup Weekend and angel investor

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