The Connective

We work with organisations that invest money and other assets for more than financial return

Through understanding of systemic risks and interdependencies, we co-develop tools and pilot solutions that enable better decision making – to maximise environmental, social, cultural and economic returns

We are part of a global network of like-minded organisations. We collaborate on solutions to move us from siloed approaches that create harm in some areas and value in others, toward investments that have systemic benefit.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, this is increasingly focused on the blending of systems and sustainability practices with indigenous wisdom.

Our services

Whether you are looking to change systems, or simply to understand them better so your resources are deployed more effectively, we can help

Systems insight-driven strategy and programme design

Improve your awareness of the systems you are operating in or looking to influence by accessing research and evidence based methodologies and modelling. Set your objectives, strategies and plans in a way that can focus your efforts on areas of higher impact while reducing risk and unintended consequences.

Investment and decision making for greater impact

Better understand where to invest and how to invest to meet your objectives. Identify, develop and assess high impact ventures and projects, create structures and approaches that can accelerate systems change and connect with values aligned investors.

Recent work

We collaborate closely with investors, funders, local and indigenous communities to design systemic investment programmes and projects

Te Pai Roa Tika O Te Taitokerau

We led the design and establishment of a collectively Iwi owned and led, self-sustained platform to deliver long term, large scale impact investment for Te Taitokerau Maori.  Iwi are bringing forward high impact projects with access to the funding to invest in them.

South Pacific Investment Partnership

Several projects across the South Pacific developing and implementing business models that deliver climate resilience and self-determination for local communities. The focus is on identifying relevant business models that work for people and planet, ensuring there are buyers or funders for the value created and values aligned investors.

Guides to Tikanga-Led Impact Investment

We work with Māori and non-Māori organisations looking to apply a Te Ao Māori lens to strategy, planning and decision making. These guides showcase how we think indigenous wisdom can be a global leader for those looking to invest with purpose. Read the guides here.

Improving the housing market in Aotearoa NZ

Several projects in partnership with leading practitioners, researchers and investors looking to fundamentally change the way the housing market works for the most vulnerable in society. These include helping develop and demonstrate new housing models and supporting housing providers to improve their investment decision making.

Philanthropic led systems change

Supporting leading philanthropic organisations to intentionally shape their activities to be more able to deliver systems change.

Climate Innovation

A programme to accelerate the take up of climate innovation through connecting those with climate innovation needs with those who have all or part of the solution.

About us

Ian Short

Ian is the former CEO of Climate-KIC, the world’s largest climate change innovation partnership, and of the Institute for Sustainability. Both organisations were established to support systems innovation. After starting his career in finance with the New Zealand Treasury and ten years at a global investment bank, he was introduced to the value of a systems mindset when leading the establishment of an urban development corporation responsible for the regeneration of east London. Ian is Chair of Auckland Foundation, Chair of Toru Group and a trustee of Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce – Oceania. He is a fellow of the chartered accountants Australia and NZ.

Eseta Leau

Eseta Leau is the Chief Cat Herder at The Connective, making sure everyone stays on task. When she isn’t busy herding our cool cats into formation (a la Beyonce) she is serving her Pacific Island communities at her beloved church Manurewa EFKS and on the boards of Samoan language nest Tu Manu ae Le Tu Logologo and Pacific Dance New Zealand. As a woman of Tuvaluan and Samoan descent, she is passionate about exploring economic development as a tool to empower our communities. Equipped with law and commerce degrees from the University of Auckland, she hopes to put this training to use in her work at The Connective by helping communities, especially Pacific communities, become global leaders in enterprise.

May Miller-Dawkins

May Miller-Dawkins is a researcher, advocate and coalition-builder with over twenty years experience working to support community-led change and pursuing government and corporate accountability. May was Director – Governance and Transparency at The B Team in New York, and was previously the inaugural head of research for Oxfam Australia where she supported applied research efforts across the Asia Pacific, developed new forms of academic-practitioner collaboration, and led Oxfam International’s 12 country study  of the human impacts of the global financial crisis. She currently advises and supports the Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group in Walgett NSW and the University of New South Wales and is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development. 

Dave Henley

Dave has a drive and research focus for Systems thinking and Sustainability Transitions.  With a background in Physics, Geography & Energy Studies, Dave has worked with NGO’s, projects and think tanks with a vision for our transition to a regenerative, thriving, low-carbon 21st century society.  He has been a champion of bringing new systemic and transition thinking to New Zealand including initiating visits from thought leaders from the EU to engage with government, civil society and business.

Rangimarie Price

Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Whakatohea, Ngai Tai ki Torere

Rangimarie has held of number of CEO roles developing Iwi-led solutions for Maori based on their own tikanga and development priorities.  This includes systems innovation and democratising information, power, and capital to catalyse intergenerational self-determination in communities. 

She led the establishment of Aotearoa’s first Iwi owned, tikanga led systemic impact investment platform, Te Pai Roa Tika o Te Taitokerau. Currently, as co-founder of The Connective she leads the establishment of Te Pae ki te Rangi. Rangimarie blends impact investment and fund methodologies with Matauranga Maori, to create a fund environment that fosters restoration and reconciliation.

Blessed with two sons, she lives with her husband Craig on 20+ acres of land, north-east of Whangarei.

Lucie Greenwood

Lucie has a multidisciplinary background in law, climate science, and Indigenous and East-Asian philosophies of development. She is a Committee member of New Zealand’s first Climate VC Fund, and contributes to initiatives taking a systemic approach to re-designing economic systems to regenerate communities, ecosystems and the climate. She has worked for KPMG’s Sustainable Value team, focusing on sustainable business transitions and Aotearoa’s first food strategy; is the lead author of the report Transforming our Economy, discussing the transformative potential of social enterprise coupled with impact investment for Ākina’s Impact Initiative; and has worked for Sydney’s Lowy Institute, examining China’s rising influence in the Pacific Islands and shifting notions of ‘how to do development

Justin Connolly

Justin works with organisations seeking to gain a systemic understanding to problems they are facing. He has a strong background in natural resource management,  climate change, urban issues and infrastructure. He brings a strong focus on participatory approaches to understanding complexity and has extensive experience working with  local, regional and central government.

Maryanne Teariki

Mary Anne is a researcher specialising development studies, including climate change, resilience, migration and settlement. Her career started at the Third World Foundation in London. She has held senior positions in the public service, including as Crown Chief Negotiator for the settlement of the Ngai Tahu claim. Most recently Mary Anne was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Otago.

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