This is feasible as long as the project would constitutes commercial return or could be considered philanthropic investment (not for person use). You could have an interesting case if you invest at least NZ$1.5 million in this kind of investment as your overall funds would need to be NZ$2.5 million. However, this is a very complicated application and I would recommend using an adviser.
How can I fund a research project and obtain permanent residency in New Zealand?
I would like to personally fund a research project at a university in New Zealand. I have a good relationship with the lead researcher. Could this help me obtain permanent residency in New Zealand? What is the minimum amount I need to invest in this project?