What does socially responsible investing mean to you? Some things seem glaringly obvious, like avoiding investment in companies that make money from landmines or cluster bombs. But all weapons manufacturing? How about tobacco? Pornography? Fossil fuels? Genetically modified organisms? Nuclear power? Gambling? Alcohol? Where do you draw the line?

“Ethical” will mean different things to different people. And investment funds have a variety of approaches to these questions. 

That said, there are more socially responsible options than ever in KiwiSaver. The following schemes have a framework in place to filter out investments that could be considered unethical, such as tobacco or weapons:

  • AMP, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Booster, Fisher Funds, Fisher Funds TWO, Generate, Kiwi Wealth, Lifestages, Mercer, Milford, Nikko AM, NZ Funds, QuayStreet, Simplicity, Summer, and Westpac  

You can search up any of their funds in Sorted's Smart Investor by typing the fund name here.

There are also specific ethically oriented funds, here grouped by type of fund. (Not sure which type is right for you? Try these three questions.)


CareSaver Conservative Fund


AMP Responsible Investment Balanced Fund

ASB Positive Impact Fund

Booster Socially Responsible Investment Balanced Fund

CareSaver Balanced Fund

Craigs Investment Partners Quaystreet Balanced SRI Fund

Superlife Ethica Fund


Amanah Growth Fund

Booster Socially Responsible Investment Growth Fund

CareSaver Growth Fund


ANZ Sustainable International Share Fund 

Keep in mind that “ethical investment” is just one of the criteria you need to consider when choosing your fund. The fund you’re in also needs to be the right level of risk for you, have the level of services you want, with fees that seem reasonable. And of course it can’t have consistently underperformed, either – which could be a sign of poor management.

You don’t want to end up in the “ethically perfect” fund that doesn’t suit your other needs. Still, in terms of investing ethically in KiwiSaver, it’s good to know that you’ve got more options than ever.


Comments (11)

Gravatar for warren


9:34am | 3 Dec 2019

hi how come Pathfinder is not in the ethical list ? i would have thought they were one of the most ethical., thanks warren

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6:32pm | 18 Nov 2019

Hi how do I find out how much is in my KiwiSaver? I’m also wanting to apply for first home grant and am unsure how to go about it. Can you please email me with details? Many thanks

Gravatar for Lucy


4:31pm | 4 Nov 2019

You can find out more about the ethics of Kiwisaver providers at https://mindfulmoney.nz/. I shifted to Booster but there seem to be a few others that might be good as well.

Gravatar for Lance


7:25pm | 13 May 2019

Why no Amanah ethical kiwisaver

Gravatar for

12:07pm | 2 Sep 2018

dear anonymous from december 2017...I feel your discomfort, anger and sincere quest for engagement and healing. I grew up accepting the term "necessary evil" and the warning that "we can't eat money" light heartedly, mostly without the knowledge of their deeper implications. We don't know what it's like for others, unless we stand in their shoes or have walked with them for a while. I think that my ignorant/ innocent ways in some respect (you can see I am not a religious person, who thinks to be born human alone is synonymous with to be born guilty of something) or particular in this matter may have been a helpful shortcoming. Having lived on this planet now for more than 58 years, I have not found a best (for everyone) "lifestyle", but maintain that to be of service to others (taking a fee/ wage) or to produce something that others need/ want (to buy) has helped me to be able to share and claim my powers within this human networks. "Free", as well as discount purchased education and expensive life lessons (including our upbringing) are the reasons why some of us understand what the meaning of suffering is and how to apply the tools of knowledge and skills to transform reality for the benefit of ourselves and those that we share with (in personal life as well as "win/ win" in business). One doesn't need to understand the squirrel's anticipation of times of rest and dwindling resources/ income. The rewards of being able to share, while experiencing love, respect and reciprocity maybe one of the main drivers that I have managed to unearth keeping me motivated. We have managed together to change this government in 2018 and I think now have a good platform to see/ effect changes that will question and address our social responsibilities in a compassionate and effective way. Just in case you'll ever make it back to this forum on "Kiwi Saver/ Investments", let me express respect for your courage to talk about what's on your mind, which includes guts to address/ uhm...contemplate the "planet's disease". Sorry I can't be more in depth, but I am in the middle of "the Flu" and thus have time to respond to you.

Gravatar for Guest


1:28pm | 14 Jan 2018

You can't withdraw money from Kiwisaver, except under special circumstances like hardship or using the money for a first home. There are several Statutes (laws) that pertain to kiwisaver. The government wants people to have money at retirement and a forced retirement scheme you cannot get out of, is the only way they know how to achieve that goal. You can park the kiwisaver for a maximum of five years which means you don't put any money into it. If you are self employed you just don't put any more into it at all, ever. If you withdraw kiwisaver under special hardship provisions the government contribution still remains. Even if you stop putting money into kiwisaver fees still get deducted from it. As far as I am aware you can never leave it. Regarding finding out where your money goes to kiwisaver, you will need to contact the scheme provider and ask them. Your kiwisaver provider may have a Kiwisaver Scheme Prospectus that you can look at. People only found out that the banks and other providers were investing the kiwisaver in unethical investments because a radio station conducted an investigation because not all of Kiwisaver whereabouts are made available to the public. I think the only people that truly know where kiwisaver goes are the analysts who research the investments for the kiwisaver providers who then decide where to put that kiwisaver money.

Gravatar for Fran


11:36am | 5 Jan 2018

Hi. 2 questions:
1. How can I find out where my Kiwisaver 'investment' is being put? I am keen to know whether or not my involvement in any investment is ethical. If I thought my investment was contributing to hardship for others, I would be horrified.
2: just wondering why you didn't answer Anonymous's question about how to withdraw all his/her money from the scheme?

Gravatar for Tom


9:32am | 22 Dec 2017

Hi there Anonymous, you are right that KiwiSaver is an investment scheme, and that everyone in KiwiSaver is actually an investor, not just a saver. But the money is in your own account, and not "used" by the government for anything. In fact, the government actually contributes up to $521 into your account each year. And thousands of people have used KiwiSaver to afford their first home and pay for the necessities you mention in their retirement. Have a closer look to make sure you have the right information, as there are a number of myths swirling around these days.

Gravatar for Anonymous


1:53pm | 21 Dec 2017

I have just discovered that KiwiSAVER is actually a fraudulent title, being as it seems that this is an Investment scheme NOT a savings scheme. I do not wish to be part of this capitalist confidence trick - how do I remove ALL my funds from this fraudulent scheme so that I can instead put this money into a savings account. I've seen what the NZ government and its partners in grime have done with Kiwisaver money, and I do not wish to have my money used to kill people in foreign countries (unlike most investors it seems). Investors are the reason why most people in NZ can't afford to buy their own homes (because 'investors' think money is more important than fed, clothed and housed citizens. So, my question is, how do I get all my money back? I will NOT invest directly or indirectly in a system which treats people's needs as secondary to the needs of 'markets' and 'profit'. This 'vision' of the world promoted by 'brokers' is a pipe-dream designed to con poor people into spending money they don't have, so that others can live the high-life on other's hard work, and leads to an unfair and unequitable society. When a person is hungry, they need FOOD not money, when a person has no home, they need a HOUSE, not money, when a person is cold, they need more clothes, not money. Placing money in the process between people getting what they need is the sign of a morally bankrupt society, that only ever benefits those whom control that money. EVERY single one of the companies listed on this pages has been in some form of legal trouble for corruption regards misuse of the funds at their command, but for some reason you keep telling us to place our futures in these self-serving, morally corrupt hands! Meanwhile our country becomes more and more divided by the have-nots, and the people who are standing with a booted foot on their necks. Convince yourselves all you want otherwise, but YOU are the problem. You are disease that this planet is infected with. Your absolute belief that you are right - the common belief of those who have committed the most evil on this planet.

Gravatar for Tom


9:47am | 27 Mar 2017

Cheers Mark, the best place to look is on the KiwiSaver fund finder (fundfinder.sorted.org.nz) under "Compare funds". By sorting by fees, services and returns, you can easily see which are above or below average in those categories, as well as watchlist those funds that stand out for you. Cheers