michael website final

Dr Michael Johnston

Senior Fellow

Dr Michael Johnston has held academic positions at Victoria University of Wellington for the past ten years. This includes being the Associate Dean (Academic) of the University’s School of Education for the last 3 years.

Prior to his time at Victoria, Dr Johnston was the Senior Statistician at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, a position he held for 6 years. Before that, he held positions at Melbourne and Latrobe universities.

Dr Johnston holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Melbourne.

He lives in Roseneath, Wellington, with his wife and two young children.

Phone: 044990790

Email: michael.johnston@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

Ballot box v2

A ‘losers’ list’ for MMP?

At the general election in 2023, New Zealand will mark 30 years and ten elections since it adopted the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation (MMP) electoral system. A criticism of MMP is that the party list system allows party hierarchies essentially to appoint their apparatchiks to parliament. Read more

Dr Michael Johnston
Insights Newsletter
22 April, 2022
internet troll

Take a walk

“Because there is no time for thinking and no rest in thinking, we no longer weigh divergent views; we’re content to hate them.” Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that back in 1878, but he could easily have been describing the early 2020s. Perhaps it was ever thus, but I can’t help feeling the problem Nietzsche was describing has recently got a lot worse. Read more

Dr Michael Johnston
Insights Newsletter
25 March, 2022
Teacher v2

Teaching children to participate in the contest of ideas

The Department for Education in England recently issued guidance to teachers to remind them of legal requirements to be politically impartial when they teach sensitive topics such as the legacy of the British Empire. Commenting on the guidance, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said “contested theories and opinions must not be presented to young people as facts”. Read more

Dr Michael Johnston
15 March, 2022

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