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This research is the first in-depth study of Aotearoa New Zealand’s (NZ) impact investment market. The report highlights the level of awareness and interest, perceived barriers and priorities (impact area, geography and asset class) of investors in regard to impact investing in NZ. Data was sought from investors that are already making impact investments (‘active impact investors’) and those ‘investors not yet active in impact investing’.

Key Findings:

  • There is interest and activity in impact investing across all types of investors with 51% of respondents already active impact investors.
  • Of the $83.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) of survey respondents, $889 million (or 1%) of this capital is identified by investors as impact investments (noting that this is self-declared and subject to differing interpretations of what constitutes an ‘impact investment’).
  • Of those investors that are not yet active in impact investing, most (78%) are aware of the field, and the vast majority are interested in participating. Nearly a third (28%) are actively exploring impact investment options.
  • Active impact investors have invested in a wide range of impact areas with environment and conservation (20%) and clean energy (12%) being the most popular. The top preferred impact areas for investors not yet active in impact investing include health (including medical research) (13%) as well as environment and conservation (11%).
  • Financial return expectations are high. In an endorsement for impact investment, it is the experienced impact investors that have the highest expectations, with 74% expecting competitive or above market rates of return, while 58% of not yet active impact investors expect the same.
  • 81% of active impact investors consider that their financial return expectations are either being met or exceeded.
  • 79% of active impact investors indicate that their expectations for social or environmental impact are being met or exceeded by their current investments.


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