The Ākina Foundation releases recommendations to supercharge social investment in New Zealand

The Ākina Foundation (Ākina) has today released a comprehensive paper outlining an approach that, if adopted, would supercharge a social investment approach within a New Zealand context.

The white paper, Developing a successful social investment approach: Supercharging social investment in Aotearoa New Zealand, explores the range of opportunities that social investment could create in addressing New Zealand’s complex and multifaceted social issues, and its transformative potential for government, stakeholders, and communities.

Ākina CEO Nicola Nation says that the white paper aims to catalyse the conversation about how social investment could work in New Zealand, offering insights into its benefits, challenges, and opportunities.   “We want to move the conversation forward from a focus on data and analytics. While we agree these are vitally important in any social investment approach, they must also work in unison with other factors - namely, the community.”

“Social issues have become increasingly complex and multifaceted and the importance of aligning New Zealand’s financial investment with long-term social outcomes has never been more pressing. Social investment not only provides significant long-term opportunities, but also addresses critical societal issues such as poverty, education, and health. By leveraging our capital for social good, across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, we can create resilient communities and a more equitable Aotearoa,” she says.

“With such an approach, it is critical that we incorporate the voices of those already delivering social returns in our communities, alongside the voices of the vulnerable New Zealanders they serve. Our community has deep experience in designing and delivering solutions to our most difficult social issues. We need to work closely with the community instead of enforcing changes on them.”

The paper fosters a better understanding of the dynamics and components of social investment across the board. It incorporates commentary from a range of voices operating in the social investment space – from Ākina itself, through to Jamie Newth, CEO of pioneering impact investment fund manager Soul Capital,  Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangatira Tumu Whakarae (CEO), Helmut Modlik, Impact Investing Network Chair Alastair Rhodes, and Chair of Victoria University of Wellington School of Government, Professor Jonathan Boston.

“We felt it important to include a range of voices in the conversation on social investment, to ensure inclusivity and diversity, and to accurately articulate the power of Social Investment in the Aotearoa New Zealand context.  There is still much uncertainty about what the government means by social investment. It is our intention that this paper catalyses further conversations,” says Nicola Nation.

The full report is available here:

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