Goodreturns has this article talking about the ability to deliver some robo-advice platforms before the planned changes in financial advice law that will explicitly legalise them. This kind of experimentation is probably useful, and the services are likely, at least initially, to be quite limited. We have also heard that the FMA would consider well-thought-out robo advice services and how they could be given scope to proceed in the interim. Link.
Binu Paul, of Savvy Kiwi said wisely that he thought business model should probably precede regulatory approval. He is right, and if you cannot deliver a meaningful robo-advice service, and have that well mapped out before you see the regulator, you shouldn't bother them. After all, they won't issue an exemption for merely using the magic words 'robo-advice' in your QFE application. You will need to be specific. What does it do? How? Based on what data? How does it actually give advice? It is trickier than it looks.