In this article we introduce Issue 8 of Impact Connector, which focuses on the practice of social impact assessment (SIA) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Across the articles in this issue we consider some of the challenges facing SIA in this country. We asked the writers of these articles to look backwards to previous practice and also to look forward to where they see SIA going in future practice, especially where SIA might well be applied to societal challenges in future iterations of practice. SIA emerged in New Zealand in the 1970s as an applied field in the social sciences (Taylor and Mackay, 2016a), with the origins often tied to the emergence of environmental impact assessment in countries such as the United States and Canada (Burdge, 2004). The field is now well established internationally with international guidelines developed and published by the IAIA (Vanclay, et al. 2015). Social impacts are now widely acknowledged as a key part of safeguards polices in international development assistance and in sustainable development, as in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.