Should your KiwiSaver be invested in NZ?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 22 April 2019, 9:37AM
There's now more than $50 billion in KiwiSaver accounts, but less than half of last year's contributions went into New Zealand assets, shares, bonds and property. Photo / Getty Images.

Kiwis are being urged to reconsider how they are investing their KiwiSaver.

There's now more than $50 billion in KiwiSaver accounts, but less than half of last year's contributions went into New Zealand assets, shares, bonds and property.

Now Simplicity Kiwisaver wants to invest $100 million into high growth opportunities, start-ups and unlisted companies.

Founder, Sam Stubbs, told Tim Dower currently only one-third of the $50 billion is going into New Zealand investments.

"If you look at countries like us around the world, that should typically be about half. In fact, in Australia, the Government has mandated that at least half of the money saved in superfunds has to be invested in local businesses."

He said in 10 years, New Zealanders will have around $200 billion in their KiwiSaver.

"There's going to be another $150 billion saved by Kiwis and if half of that came into New Zealand, that would be $75 billion, that would be about 2.3 per cent of GDP. So we have never in our history seen the opportunity we are about to see, to have Kiwis investing in their own community with substantial amounts of money."

Stubbs said that money would be invested in things like roads, water systems and electricity grids.

In the past, public-private partnerships haven't been very popular because of the concern around foreign investment, Stubbs said.

"There is always this thought that the foreign money will come in and be the private part of it, so we would be basically selling off our assets to foreigners."

"The really interesting opportunity with KiwiSaver, because we have never had this pile of money available in our history, there is a really interesting opportunity now to fund that infrastructure, in a way that means council and government don't have to borrow more money and where the private part of the public-private partnership is actually KiwiSavers."

He said this hasn't been seriously considered in the past because New Zealand didn't have enough money.

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