Mōhio Research is a consultancy set up by Sam Lindsay, an impact investment consultant, and Dr David Hall, a Senior Policy Researcher at AUT.
In July 2017, Mōhio Research was granted $50,000 in G.I.F.T support to develop a business case to explore a viable policy solution to one of Aotearoa’s most pressing environmental challenges: how to get permanent forest back onto erosion-prone pastoral land. This is a major cause of sedimentation into the Hauraki Gulf, and also a threat to land resilience throughout the country.
The aim was to identify whether impact investment (investment with an intention to generate a measurable and beneficial societal and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return) can be used to provide up-front capital for permanent forest planting, particularly on vulnerable, erosion-prone land and waterway margins throughout the Hauraki Gulf.
An indicative business case for the Native Forest Bond Scheme (NFBS) concept was prepared, setting out how it could be practically implemented. Mōhio engaged with the New Zealand government at the highest ministerial levels to present the NFBS as a viable solution to responsible afforestation in New Zealand. Input was gained from around 20 influential parties, including 11 impact investors, and relationships and political will were established to progress the concept.
"Our proposed Native Forest Bond Scheme sits at the intersection of impact investment and climate change policy, and it would only be the second time in the world that such an instrument has been used. Foundation North is bold to support innovation in this space, and this work has triggered a lot of learnings for us all, including for potential stakeholders like government and the investor community. What’s important to us is not only the support through G.I.F.T, but also the sense of a shared journey toward creating greater social and environmental impact. By aligning investment with mātauranga Māori, science and community practice, there’s an opportunity to more effectively tackle local and regional challenges, such as improving the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf.”
- Dr David Hall, Founding Director of Mōhio Research