Section 4





The Way Ahead

While the last section highlights the current constraints on our impact investment market, there is no reason to feel discouraged about the potential of its future development. All of these current deficiencies are typical in other impact investment markets emerging around the world, and we have the benefit of learning from the experiences of more developed markets, and adapting their solutions to our context, as we catch up.

As this report has outlined, we have momentum in many areas, and some significant and specific market opportunities. Some of these factors are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand, and our other qualities as a nation could propel us from fast-follower to a global leader within the next five years, should we choose to do so.

This report is not a strategy document, it is a discussion document, a collection of provocations which seeks to inform debate, with the aim of fostering self-organisation and coherent action. However, having curated expert insights in relation to some specific market opportunities, we conclude with some more general recommendations, which we believe should be part of the agenda as and when strategy is developed.

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Key points

  • The most effective way to grow a functioning and productive impact investment market in Aotearoa New Zealand is through a systematic and coherent strategy.
  • This strategy should consider all components of the market ecosystem, and develop them concurrently.
  • Strong and clear principles of practice should be set, and promoted, at an early stage of market development, as these elements are hard to retro-fit and bad practice will undermine the market’s growth and potential.
  • A critical part of implementing this work will be to have an independent organising force that can bring all stakeholders into play, and recommend / determine investments into market infrastructure without being conflicted or politicised. The best vehicle for this is the IINABANZ, which also has the credibility of being a recognised conduit to the Global Steering Group on Impact Investment.

Concluding remarks – our choice

Much of this report has gravitated to technical details, and that has been necessary because when discussing impact investment, we are considering a complex set of market arrangements that need to work well together in order to facilitate transactions and create positive change.

But at the heart of this, impact investment is only a tool in service to how we, as a society, wish to run our economy, in the brief time we, as individuals, have on this planet.

While things have never been better for most of humankind, we could be doing better, and we’re loading unsustainable amounts of risk into the systems that enable these heady days of supercharged development.

We need to pause and dig deep to really acknowledge the significance of this reality, and the significance of this moment in time.

Change is challenging but it’s also inevitable. So it comes down to whether we decide to proactively adapt the course of our development, or be reactive to the inevitable corrections that will come.

The choice offered by the potential of impact investing is really a decision about whether to invest in the reshaping of our financial systems, and gear them to work better, for more people, for the long-term.

It is a choice to accelerate the settings of the economy from the individual to interdependence, from extraction to regeneration, from exploitation to empowerment, from division to inclusion, and from the immediate to the intergenerational. It’s a choice to evolve.

And if that’s a choice you’re willing to make – put your money where your mouth is.

Pure Advantage

Pure Advantage functions as both a generator and communicator of knowledge, undertaking and supporting a variety of green growth-focused research activities and outputs. Through this work, we seek to disseminate cutting-edge theory and practice that will transform how New Zealanders understand and manage the relationship between the environment and the economy.

We advocate for economic models that generate both profitability and positive social and environmental outcomes. In promoting these models we seek to uphold the ethical imperatives of impact investment while also dispelling any lingering misconceptions around wealth creation and environmental protection being contradictory goals.

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