How to stop your Kiwisaver investing in weapons, gambling and alcohol

A new charity aims to help Kiwis move away from ethically questionable investments, after revealing exactly how many KiwiSavers could be funding gambling, weapons and alcohol.

Mindful Money has analysed data for all 260 funds and its founder Barry Coates told Newshub investors could feel uncomfortable about where their money is going.

He said only 2 percent of KiwiSaver funds exclude fossil fuels and only 23 funds from nine providers are what he would define as "ethical".

"That's about 10 percent of the KiwiSaver funds available, when you go into those funds you know that they've been checked out thoroughly."

But moving into them doesn't mean you have to give up on higher returns.

"This is not a situation where you have to pay a big price for being ethical, you'd be just as likely to have good returns from ethical funds," Coates said

Coates' startup will show people what their funds are invested in and help them switch out of them.

Questions about where money is invested have dogged KiwiSaver providers for years, after several were revealed to invest in weapons in 2016.

More than 17,000 people signed a petition at the time asking then Prime Minister John Key to legislate against providers investing in weapons.

Despite this an NZME investigation earlier in 2019 found New Zealanders had unknowingly invested millions in tobacco companies and arms dealers.

ANZ announced it would be reviewing its KiwiSaver policies following the investigation, when it was revealed to have the highest proportion of funds in what was described as "blacklisted areas".

Online platform Bettersaver, which can also help you switch to a different provider, has ranked KiwiSaver funds according to social good, and found none score higher than a B+.

Funds from ASB and AMP scored the highest, due to factors including exclusions for weapons of war, including investments due to environmental, social and governance factors, and engagement with companies that encourage best practice.