Wellington skyline at night

TMNZ | CA ANZ IRD Satisfaction Survey 2023

TMNZ and CA ANZ have worked together to bring you the results of the 2023 Satisfaction Survey.

Tax practitioners say it takes longer to get a response from Inland Revenue Department (IRD), but they find that tax officials are helpful and demonstrate a good understanding of client issues, according to the 2023 Inland Revenue Satisfaction Survey.

The annual survey is conducted jointly by CA ANZ and Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ) to provide insight into what tax practitioners think of the way in which IRD administers the tax system.

Click through to read the full results on Acuity Magazine here.

How to manage cashflow over Christmas

Everyone loves the middle of summer and spending time with family and friends over Christmas, but it can be a challenging time of year for many small and medium-sized Kiwi businesses.

According to a poll conducted by the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association, more than half of businesses experience cashflow constraints between January and March.

It’s hardly surprising. The period after Christmas is traditionally slow for many companies, with people away enjoying their holidays. Consumers also tend to reduce spending after the expensive Christmas and New Year period.

Businesses can come under pressure for a number of reasons. Earnings will be down if companies shut over the break, while others will feel the pinch if they have paid bonuses before the end of the year.

Considering these facts, it’s understandable that many businesses struggle to manage cashflow and make provisional tax payments on 15 January every year.

Unfortunately, the Inland Revenue doesn’t factor in these seasonal challenges. It expects payments to be made on time and charges taxpayers late payment penalties of up to 20 percent per annum and use of money interest (UOMI) if tax is not received on the due date.

Your options for managing cashflow

What are the best options for businesses that want to manage cashflow and free-up money over the summer?

Tax pooling is IRD-approved and can be used to defer provisional tax payments to a time that suits the taxpayer without incurring late payment penalties and UOMI.

This method is cheaper than using many traditional forms of finance. Rates at Tax Management NZ (TMNZ) start from below eight percent, and tax pooling doesn’t affect existing lines of credit. Also, no credit checks or security are required.

The full amount of finance doesn’t need to be paid back if less tax is owed than first thought. The finance arrangement can be easily extended as well.

How tax pooling can help

Say you want to defer a $5,000 provisional tax payment for six months. You would pay TMNZ a one-off, tax-deductible interest amount and TMNZ would arrange the $5,000 provisional tax payment on your behalf.

The interest amount is based on the amount of tax financed and the period of maturity, so in this instance, ​it would be roughly $205.

The provisional tax payment is held in an IRD account administered by the Guardian Trust. Guardian Trust instructs the IRD to transfer the tax into your IRD account when you repay the $5,000 principal in six months’ time.

The IRD treats the $5,000 provisional tax as being paid on time once the transfer is processed. It’s that simple.

Ready to ease your seasonal cashflow worries? Get in touch with our team to discuss tax pooling options today.

Find our latest resources on tax pooling and calculating tax using the Standard Uplift method here: https://www.tmnz.co.nz/calculating-provisional-tax/

Image: Tax refund

How you can use tax pooling like a savings account

In business, cash is king, and being able to access funds quickly in a crisis can mark the difference between success and failure. In an unpredictable and volatile world, having the ability to access cash during challenging times can be priceless.

Just ask the taxpayers who were able to access provisional tax payments they had deposited in the TMNZ tax pool when COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill.

With tax pooling, companies can easily request refunds of provisional tax payments they have made at the year to date without waiting to file their tax returns. They can receive their refunds within a matter of days.

Tax can be one of the largest expenditure lines for a business, so flexibility is vital.

In this economic climate, it’s far from ideal to have large sums tied up with the IRD.

What if you can’t access the money in an emergency?

What if your profitability projections trend down over the year, meaning you’re likely to overpay?

For taxpayers with a 30 June year-end, the first instalment of provisional tax is due on 28 November. Every business and sole trader should ask themselves the questions above, especially if their work is seasonal or cyclical in nature.

Businesses should also think about the accessibility of their funds if their income is difficult to predict or fluctuates due to factors such as commodity prices, adverse weather events, or the exchange rate.

Accessible tax money

Depositing tax payments into a tax pool can form part of an effective risk management strategy in times of uncertainty.

Look at it like depositing into a savings account with the added benefit of eliminating late payment penalties and IRD interest. You can still access your funds if you need to, you’re covering yourself for tax time and possibly extending your time to pay.

How depositing provisional tax into a tax pool works

Tax pooling operates with the blessing of the New Zealand tax department. TMNZ has been a registered provider of the service since 2003.

Companies deposit their provisional tax payments into a shared pool instead of directly into their own IRD account.

Each payment is date stamped as at the date it is made into the pool (e.g., 28 November). Funds are held in an account at the IRD. This account is managed by an independent trustee, Guardian Trust.

A taxpayer holds their payments in the pool until it instructs TMNZ to transfer their deposits to their own IRD account.

Taxpayers can request a refund from TMNZ of provisional tax deposits held in the pool at any time without having to file their tax return or an estimate with IRD.

Refunds may be subject to meeting anti-money laundering requirements. (Corporate taxpayers also need to be mindful of imputation credit account impacts when requesting a refund of tax they hold in the pool).

A taxpayer typically instructs TMNZ to transfer their tax deposits to their own IRD account once they finalise their tax return and know the amounts required at each instalment date to satisfy their liability for the year.

As the tax being transferred from the TMNZ tax pool to a taxpayer’s IRD account has been date stamped to when it was originally paid into the pool, IRD recognises it as if the taxpayer paid the whole amount on time.

This remits any IRD interest and late payment penalties showing on the taxpayer’s account.

Access previously paid funds

If you’re short on cash, tax pooling also allows you to temporarily withdraw deposits you hold in our pool.

You can access the amount of provisional tax funds you have deposited (minus an upfront interest cost). You also have the option to restore your deposit at the original deposit date once your cashflow situation has improved.

Buy some time

When preserving cashflow is high on the agenda, you can use a tax pool to defer upcoming provisional tax payments to a date in the future without incurring late payment penalties.

For example, someone with a 7 April terminal tax date could have up to 75 days from that date to settle their provisional tax.

Earn more interest if you’ve overpaid

If you have surplus tax remaining in the pool once you have transferred money to the IRD to satisfy your liability, you can earn interest above the IRD’s credit interest rate by selling the excess tax to other pool members that have underpaid for the year or have received a notice of reassessment from the IRD.

Please note that this is subject to market demand.

The purchasing taxpayer can reduce the interest cost faced on their underpayment significantly when applying this tax against their liability. This also eliminates any late payment penalties.

Overpayers earn more interest while fellow taxpayers pay less. Everyone’s a winner!

Find out more

To learn more about managing your provisional tax, check out our tax finance guide and cashflow management tips for businesses.

Alternatively, please get in touch with our friendly support team if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help.


Manage IRD exposure with corporate tax pooling

With the 28 November and 15 January provisional tax dates fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to talk to larger clients about the benefits of TMNZ corporate tax pooling.

Tax pooling is an Inland Revenue-approved system to help New Zealand businesses manage their provisional tax. Instead of paying the IRD directly, taxpayers can purchase overpaid tax from other tax pool members and pay into the tax pool when it suits them.

As some businesses overpay tax when they have funds to spare, they help to cover other taxpayers that need a bit more time to meet their obligations. We like to think of it as businesses helping businesses.

TMNZ is proud to be New Zealand’s original tax pool, pioneering the concept in 2003. We haven’t looked back since, helping large businesses, SMEs, and sole traders with tax management.

With tax pooling, businesses that can’t meet their provisional tax liabilities can purchase tax from those that have overpaid. This is charged at a lower interest rate than the IRD’s use of money interest charges, and companies also avoid late payment penalties.

There are advantages on both sides of a tax pool. Companies that have overpaid into our pool can also earn more interest on their surplus tax than if they had paid the IRD directly.

Clients that experience volatility or pay substantial amounts of provisional tax (eg: more than $100,000 at each date) can reduce their exposure to use of money interest by paying provisional tax into the Guardian Trust/TMNZ tax pool account at Inland Revenue (IRD) rather than directly into their IRD account.

In summary, here are all of the ways corporate tax pooling is great for large companies:

  • Companies earn more interest on surplus tax than they would if they overpaid the IRD.
  • Tax can be purchased if businesses have underpaid income tax.
  • Tax can be swapped across provisional tax dates to reduce exposure to use of money interest.
  • Overpaid tax can be refunded within three to five days — without filing a return.
  • Businesses can access TMNZ’s in-house expertise for corporate tax pooling advice on how to optimise their provisional tax payments.
  • Money is deposited in the TMNZ tax pooling account at IRD.

What’s more, by using the TMNZ tax pool, you and your clients are also helping to give back to New Zealand. All our profit is invested in the Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation, supporting social and environmental causes.

Contact us today to find out how TMNZ tax pooling can help your clients.

How tax pooling can help your tax management

Meet Andy, a builder who has run his own business for three years. Things are going well, and he’s set to make a substantial profit in the current financial year. He’s well-paid and smart enough to set aside tax he owes with each payment. But clients don’t always pay him on time, causing some serious headaches.

Like many businesses, Andy experiences cashflow issues. He makes a profit but doesn’t always have enough funds in his account to pay provisional tax when it’s due.

What should Andy do? Grin and bear the Inland Revenue’s late payment penalties and use of money interest charges after missing his payment dates? Or seek a better option?

Luckily, Andy’s accountant Lisa ​knows all about tax pooling and how it can relieve the financial pressure.

Tax pooling explained

Andy asks his accountant how tax pooling works and some of its main benefits.

Lisa explains that tax pooling has been available to taxpayers for two decades, starting in 2003 when Tax Management NZ (TMNZ) became a registered provider with IRD.

The accountant says tax pooling has clear benefits over traditional tax management:

  • Taxpayers can choose to pay their liabilities in a time and manner that suits them, without having to worry about IRD interest and penalties.
  • They can make significant savings on use of money interest charged and eliminate late payment penalties if they miss or underpay provisional tax, or if they are reassessed by IRD.
  • When taxpayers overpay into the TMNZ tax pool, they can earn a much higher rate of interest on overpayment of funds than they would receive from the IRD.

Who oversees TMNZ’s tax pool?

Lisa assures Andy that all payments made into TMNZ’s tax pool account at the IRD are managed by an independent trustee, Guardian Trust.

Guardian Trust oversees the bank accounts into which taxpayers pay their money, as well as the transfer of funds from the TMNZ tax pool to Andy’s IRD account.

Because the tax being transferred has been paid and date stamped as at the original due date, any penalties and interest are wiped once the payment is processed by the IRD.

Companies of all sizes can use tax pooling

Tax pooling can help businesses of all sizes, from companies with thousands of employees down to sole traders. TMNZ’s tax pool is the largest and most established in the country.

Lisa’s research found two companies TMNZ has helped.

One company uses tax pooling to counteract fluctuating seasonal revenue:

“It takes away all those stresses. You’re passing it on to somebody else and saying, ‘take care of this for me, I don’t know what to do, we’ve got a shortage of cashflow’ and it’s the best way of putting more energy into your business and doing the things that you’re good at.”

The second company uses a tax pool as they need to invest in equipment regularly.

“With a business like ours, we are investing quite heavily into assets like cars, campers, and boats. Cash upfront is important [for] us to have.”

Tax Management NZ has helped both companies manage working capital and mitigate the risk of fees and penalties.

“What is the cost of this?” Andy asks.

“Just TMNZ interest,” Lisa replies.

Tax pools can help with voluntary disclosures and audits

Lisa looks through Andy’s expected outgoings for the year. These range from the cost of living to many other expenses associated with owning a business.

The accountant realises that in a previous year, Andy made a mistake on one of his returns and must file a voluntary disclosure with the IRD.

“How can Andy get ahead with the current year if he now has to pay an additional amount of tax for a past year?” Lisa wonders.

TMNZ can assist taxpayers who owe an increased amount of tax as a result of a voluntary disclosure or audit.

Tax pooling provides 60 days from the date the IRD reassessment notice was issued to buy the tax payment he needs and send it to the IRD.

The different tax types available to purchase are historic income tax payments, deferrable tax, and agreed delay tax, as well as other tax types such as GST, RWT, PIE, FBT, NRT, and DWT.

Lisa can use TMNZ to reduce the interest and late payment penalties cost of Andy’s voluntary disclosure.

For the current tax year, Lisa can set up either a Flexitax® or Tax Finance  arrangement to give him more flexibility and time to pay (up to 75 days past his terminal tax date for that tax year).

Lisa has other clients that are medium-large taxpayers with big bills and paydays. TMNZ’s Tax Deposit product can help them.

Other advantages of tax pooling

There are several other advantages to using a tax pool:

  • Excess funds paid into the pool can either be used for future dates and any other tax types where a reassessment has not been issued.
  • There’s the option to sell surplus tax to a taxpayer who has underpaid to earn additional interest.
  • The refund process is much faster than directly through the IRD (within three to five days, and without having to file a return for the year).

Take back control

Take control of your tax management with TMNZ tax pooling — a more convenient way to meet your provisional tax obligations.

We offer solutions for all kinds of businesses and financial situations. If you’re new to paying provisional tax, check out our resources on managing tax and business cashflow here.

Ask your accountant about tax pooling options today, or get in touch with our team to find out more.


Accountant planning

Five top tips for paying 28 August provisional tax

Are you due to pay 28 August provisional tax?

For many businesses, this will be their first instalment of provisional tax for the 2024 tax year. It’s important to stump up what you owe on this date. Inland Revenue (IR) won’t hesitate to charge steep interest and late payment penalties if you don’t.

If you’re a business owner or operator, here are five useful tips to ensure you’re ready to pay 28 August provisional tax. For agents, you may also wish to share these tips with your clients to help them prepare.

1. Assess your cashflow

Now’s the time to look at the money coming in and going out of your business.

Cast your eyes over your accounts receivable report to see which customers owe you money. If required, ask them if they can sort their bill earlier. Conversely, see if you can buy more time if you owe suppliers money.

If cashflow is tight or you have a better use for the money, keep reading. There’s an option that lets you pay 28 August provisional tax when it suits you.

2. Be aware of the changes 

If you’re a safe harbour taxpayer, be aware that despite the rule changes, IR will still charge LPPs at each payment date. You can find out more about the changes here.

3. Know your methods to calculate 28 August provisional tax

It’s important you are aware of the different methods available to calculate your provisional tax payments. For more information about the provisional tax methods available to you, see our Provisional Tax Guide.

4. Consider using tax pooling

An IR-approved tax pooling intermediary such as Tax Management NZ can assist if cashflow is tight. Working with them allows you to pay 28 August provisional tax at a time and in a manner that suits you, without incurring late payment penalties. You can defer the full payment to a date in the future or pay off what’s due in instalments.

Paying via TMNZ also means significant savings on Inland Revenue use of money interest.

TMNZ holds date-stamped tax for you in its IR account. You pay TMNZ at the agreed future date or as and when it suits your cashflow.

5. If in doubt, consult a professional

Do you have any questions about 28 August provisional tax? Seek the advice of an accountant or tax advisor. They can determine the best provisional tax calculation for your business and help you manage your payments and cashflow.

If you wish to learn more about the provisional tax payment flexibility TMNZ offers businesses, email support@tmnz.co.nz or phone 0800 829 888.

Information in this article is correct as at 17/8/22. You should consult with your tax advisor concerning all tax matters. Read our Terms and conditions.

Paying provisional tax – do you want it to be easier?

Kiwi business owners are all too familiar with the concept of provisional tax, and for many, paying it can be a bit of a chore. 

One of the biggest issues people face is the IRD’s inflexibility. The IRD sets the dates you have to pay, and you’ve got no choice but to follow their lead.  

No consideration is given to the time of year, business cash flow, or seasonal circumstances. After all, no one wants to pay a big lump sum when cashflow is tight.  

The IRD model doesn’t consider whether businesses are light on cash, have an urgent need for money, or a better use for their funds. You simply have to pay up or face the penalties — with IRD interest on top of late payment fees. 

But there’s one thing you should know about paying provisional tax. There is a better, easier way: tax pooling.  

Tax pooling gives you more choice over your tax and lets you make payments on your terms without incurring the IRD’s wrath. 

The option has been available to New Zealand provisional taxpayers for more than two decades.  

Since 2003, thousands of businesses have been paying provisional tax through tax pooling providers like TMNZ. We let you pay what you owe at a time that suits you.  

The best part? Tax pools are IRD-approved.

So, how does a tax pool work for paying provisional tax? 

A tax pool is all about balance. Some businesses in our pool may end up overpaying their liability. These overpayments help other businesses in the pool that need more time to pay. A collective approach. 

Users of our tax pool do have to pay some interest, but it’s charged at a much lower rate than the IRD’s interest or the rates you’d pay for taking out an overdraft with the bank. There are also no late payment penalties to think about.  

All you have to do is tell us the tax amount due and when and how you’d like to pay. We’ll take care of the rest and notify the IRD. 

Why haven’t I heard about this before? 

While tax pooling isn’t common knowledge among small businesses, it is considered best practice among many accountants and tax advisers.  

How can I start paying provisional tax with tax pooling? 

Discuss tax pooling with your accountant (or with one of our Premium TMNZ Accounting Partners) ahead of your next provisional tax instalment or if you’ve struggled to match business cash flow with your past payments. 

Ask your adviser to download this free guide that provides simple information on how tax pooling works.  

Want to learn more about tax pooling? 

Talk to our customer support team on 0800 888 829 or send us an email. 

NZ Food Waste Champions 12.3 – Kai Commitment - Impact story

“As New Zealanders, we would hate to know how much [food] waste there is so this is about fundamentally reversing something that just does not sit within New Zealand culture.”
Former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern – speaking at the launch of Kai Commitment

One third of food produced globally is wasted. This is equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.  When food is thrown away, it can produce harmful emissions in landfill.  It also wastes the energy, fuel and dollars that went into producing it in the first place.

Jacinda Ardern at Kai Commitment launch
Former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern – speaking at the launch of Kai Commitment.

And the wasteful situation within industry is mirrored at home. In New Zealand, 157,398 tonnes of edible food are thrown into household bins each year. This typically ends up in landfill and can produce approximately 409,234 tonnes of carbon-equivalent emissions annually.

Our attitude to food has become unnecessarily disposable and in considering the statistics it’s unsurprising then that reducing food waste has been ranked as the third best global solution in addressing climate change. This is a powerful motivator for action and the greatest gains in reducing food waste start with addressing industry systems.

Having researched international responses to the problem, New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 Charitable Trust (NZFWC 12.3) was launched in March 2020 with the ambition of radically reducing food waste and the associated environmental impacts. Kai Commitment is a voluntary agreement between leading food business in Aotearoa who have committed to measuring and reducing their food waste and associated emissions. It is the start of something big and a sign that businesses are seeking to tackle the issue proactively.

It was the opportunity to catalyse a system change in the way we manage and measure food waste that inspired Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation to back NZFWC 12.3 and the Kai Commitment. The impact on the climate is clear – food waste is a big problem that can be solved through achievable actions. The road leading up to Kai Commitment has required broad and sophisticated discussion. Ultimately, everyone wants to do the right thing but it has been difficult to know where to start.

NZFWC is to be the independent convenor of a national, co-designed and industry-led agreement using internationally proven framework where food businesses will:

  • Set common food waste target(s);
  • Measure and record food waste data; and
  • Take action to extend their food waste reduction initiatives above business as usual.
  • Collaborate on food waste reduction across the supply chain.

Kaitlin Dawson is leading the initiative at NZFWC with support from Miranda Mirosa, Director of the University of Otago Food Waste Innovation Research Theme, and Deborah Manning, Founder of Kiwi Harvest and NZ Food Network. Both are NZFWC 12.3 Board Members.

Kaitlin brings a long-standing passion for reducing waste and believes the success of Kai Commitment will come from teamwork. “Food waste is a design flaw, it occurs at every stage in the process which is why collaboration from across the sector is not only desired, but also necessary. The programme and vision we have for a future where collaboration is the norm, will mend the breakdowns from farm to fork. We are confident that if food waste can be designed in, it can be designed out and will achieve environmental and economic value.”

The Kai Commitment will support the individual food waste reduction actions of each signatory, encourage collaboration and innovation, and evolve into a community of best practice to build sector capability. The launch of Kai commitment occurred in November 2022 at signatory Fonterra’s Auckland office. Goodman Fielder, Countdown, Silver Fern Farms, Foodstuffs, AS Wilcox and Nestle were also in attendance as committed business, and New Zealand’s then Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern gave the main address. Kai Commitment is off to a solid start in helping NZFWC 12.3 achieve their goal of halving food waste in Aotearoa by 2030.

The vision of NZ Food Waste Champions 12.3 (NZFWC 12.3) is He Taonga Te Kai – an Aotearoa where food is valued, not wasted. Their mission is to progress SDG Target 12.3, to end food loss and waste across the New Zealand food system.

By the numbers

As at March 2023


target year to halve food waste in New Zealand


businesses signed up


our investment

Mindful Money - Impact Story

“If we can change the way money flows, we can change our future for the better. By shifting investments away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy, for example, we set in motion potential exponential growth in ventures that can bring energy security, improved health outcomes, environmental benefits and financial returns. Who wouldn’t want that?” 
Barry Coates, Founder Mindful Money 

New Zealand is the only place in the world where investments made through third party companies, such as KiwiSaver, can be scrutinised. That said, the information has been hard to find and even harder to interpret. You might need a Master’s Degree from Yale University to extract the detail from this financial rabbit hole, and to be able to properly assess it. Fortunately, economist Barry Coates, Founder of Mindful Money, has those skills and he assembled a team of willing volunteers to get the job done for us. 

“Even when we can see a list of named companies that KiwiSavers have invested in, it might not be clear what they do. And they could be investing in other funds, and so on, until it is impossible to see the companies they actually invest in,” says Barry. 

This dedicated endeavour marked the start of Mindful Money, launched in 2019 with Rt Hon Grant Robertson in attendance. Barry and his team have quickly made progress finding out what KiwiSaver funds are really invested in, and then included all the retail investment funds. There are now 800 funds analysed on the Mindful Money website.  

In 2019, the team at Mindful Money exposed a whopping $130M total investment by KiwiSavers in nuclear weapons. As something that is utterly at odds with our collective and historic identity, Barry decided to give KiwiSaver fund managers a window to take action ahead of naming the companies publicly. In a year, this had dropped to $52M and then to around $15M. Now it is less than $10M.  

These revelations continued when Mindful Money published a list of all of the New Zealand funds invested in companies aligned to the Putin regime. They all sold those investments. And in 2023, Mindful Money uncovered a further 88 KiwiSaver funds investing in companies whose activities benefitted the Myanmar military, who are responsible for massive human rights violations. Again, Mindful Money are checking to ensure that these funds are shifted before releasing names.  

Transparency and accountability are huge drivers for change, but what about positively enabling proactive choice? Empowering Kiwis with the tools to access information on their investments – in a manageable way – via the Mindful Money website means they can move their funds away from fossil fuels, weapons or animal cruelty if they want to and instead invest in the issues they really want to see – such as social housing, renewable energy, forest regeneration. 

It was at this juncture, when Barry was seeking to increase the number of investment options that create social and environmental good, that he connected with Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation through mutual friends at the Centre for Sustainable Finance. Mindful Money were already making great progress on generating transparency in the investment market, but it was clear that if more Kiwis and fund managers were looking for positive investment options, Mindful Money should be playing a proactive role in signposting some solid options.  

Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation was keen to see Barry take this next step in changing how the money flows, using it as a lever in bringing social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. The potential here seemed huge, but it would need some dedicated resource for research. The Foundation has funded a new role of Investment Manager at Mindful Money, taken on by financial expert Justine Sefton.  

“We have traditionally been working with a culture of investing broadly and safely in known entities, which is why fossil fuels persist as assets in KiwiSaver portfolios,” explains Justine. “The truth is fossil fuels aren’t bringing the financial returns that they used to. They are not the future. We need to invest in smarter technologies and systems that have greater potential to bring about the kind of equitable financial, environmental and social future that we actually want and need.” 

Barry and Justine are interviewing fund managers and researching the market with the aim of putting more investment options in front of fund managers. Mindful Money is conscious that they need to be more than whistle blowers, and that generating avenues for impact investment is equally part of their wheelhouse. Investors not only want to avoid harm, they want opportunities for their investments to create positive benefits.

Mindful Money has already provided fund information – free of charge –  to 349 KiwiSaver Funds and 453 Investment Funds. They have set a target for New Zealand investment in positive impact of $100M. 

By the numbers

As at April 2023


Kiwis checked their funds on Mindful Money’s website


diverted to ethical funds so far


invested by Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation

Te Kiwi Māia - Impact Story

“It is my role to help people remember the fallen. But I want to do all I can help our first responders and military service personnel, so that they are supported in their recovery when they’re impacted in the line of duty. It is the least we can do when they knowingly give so much of themselves.”
Rebecca Nelson, Co-Founder – Te Kiwi Māia and Official Singer of the Royal New Zealand Navy

Who is looking after the wellbeing of those who look after us? From minor accidents to natural disasters, nearly all of us will, at some point in our lives, call for help. Our emergency first responders – be they Police, Fire and Emergency, St John’s Ambulance, Coastguard, Navy or Army – all work towards a shared primary goal of helping people and saving lives.

The individual jobs can look quite different, but for those on the front line it will involve interacting with people in their darkest hours. Exposure to someone else’s trauma leaves a lasting impression, because as humans we are not immune to the suffering of others. Training prepares people for the theory of a thing, but the physical and mental impact from responding to crisis or conflict can go beyond the realms of theoretical comprehension.

An aspect of building resilient communities is creating support systems that consider all of us. Including those who dedicate their careers to supporting others. In the UK, an example of this is Help for Heroes, a charity set up to care for retired servicepeople who are suffering the physical and mental effects of war and crisis. Until recently, nothing like that existed in Aotearoa.

Rebecca Nelson is a reservist and official singer of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Over the years, she has made many friends who work on the front lines, and she has made it her mission to see that people are supported and help is offered. This goes beyond the Navy to all to first responders who, for example, may have been digging through the rubble of earthquakes, searching for survivors at sea, responding to accidents on our roads or even managing 111 calls from desperate Kiwis.

“As a singer I celebrate and raise awareness of the work of our military and first responders, but I needed to do more,” says Rebecca. In 2019 she joined forces with friends and colleagues Megan Mashali and James Burt to co-found Te Kiwi Māia, with the aim of working with public services to identify employees who have been exposed to major trauma through their work. And then to provide psychological, physiological and cultural therapy.

“We spent the first year recruiting people onto our Advisory Board. This means all the emergency services are represented alongside specialist skills in health, governance, finance and legal expertise. Then we started designing our recovery retreats. Access to nature is a big part of that and in 2022 we ran our first programmes, which as seen 24 people get the help they needed. And that is both physical and mental support.”

In the early days of 2019, Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation connected with Rebecca over a coffee to discuss goals, pathways and set-up costs. It was clear that there was a gap in the system. The wrap-around support that Rebecca outlined was inspirational and as a country we are a step behind international efforts to care for those on our frontlines. With so many national and international crises unfolding, from pandemics to floods and earthquakes, our emergency responders are exhausted.

The programme from Te Kiwi Māia runs over six days and includes workshops and one-to-one sessions. Participants have access to personal trainers, psychologists, nutritionists and cultural support. Vaughan Park in Auckland’s Long Bay hosted the first gatherings in 2022. The plan, however, is for Te Kiwi Māia to have a dedicated space that is even more nature focussed.

“We are a community of first responders,” says Rebecca. “Participants arrive together and leave together, and support can be both shared and tailored throughout. Te Kiwi Māia can be holistic in the experience it provides and being close to our natural landscapes is so important for that. It is restorative, grounding and helps us to reconnect.”

Te Kiwi Māia looked at international examples of sector-based responses and created a more comprehensive support system for impacted first responders in Aotearoa. The focus is connecting people across the spectrum of emergency roles. Responding, whatever shape that takes, is the common ground.

By the numbers

As at March 2023


supported first responders




our investment