Joel Hernandez

Policy Analyst

Policy Analyst Joel joined The New Zealand Initiative after completing his Master’s in Economics at Victoria University where his work focused on productivity, labour economics and game theory. Before this, he completed a Bachelor of Science from the University of Otago, majoring in Microbiology.

Currently, Joel is working on education research using data from Statistic’s New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).

Latest reports:
Research Note: The State of Schooling (2020)
Insights and Excellence: School success in New Zealand (2020)
In Fairness to our Schools: Better measures for better outcomes (2019)
Research Note: Tomorrow’s Schools: Data and evidence (2019)


Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

Research note Tomorrows Schools Data and Evidence cover5

Research note: Tomorrow’s Schools: Data and evidence

A comprehensive and year-long econometric analysis of data for 400,000 students undertaken by The New Zealand Initiative reveals there are no significant differences in school performance between schools of different deciles. Adjusted for the different student populations they serve, the vast majority of New Zealand’s secondary schools create the education outcomes we would expect from them. Read more

Joel Hernandez
8 April, 2019

Data driving education change

New Zealand is world leading in many aspects, most notably for Sir Edmund Hillary’s triumph on Mt Everest, Ernest Rutherford’s breakthrough in nuclear physics, and women’s suffrage. We can also be proud of leading the world in integrated data, a process that combines data from different sources and displays results in a unified view to users. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018

Politician of the year

At a time when everyone and their grandma is glued to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on their smartphone, what better way to target people during a political campaign than through social media. That is how the kererū won Bird of the Year 2018. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
19 October, 2018

Crazy Rich Ministries

You can’t get more lavish than washing down some white gold caviar with Moet champagne while partying on top of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. That’s how the rich and famous celebrated in Crazy Rich Asians, the latest blockbuster to hit theatres. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
21 September, 2018

Chief Burger Officer

It’s that time of year again where foodies like me can indulge in Wellington’s best burgers, beer, and if you’re lucky, a degustation or two. That’s right, it’s August already and it’s the first day of Wellington on a Plate (WOAP). Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
10 August, 2018
Hollywood sign

Film subsidies – worth it?

After missing my chance to meet Scarlett Johansson last year, I was distraught and confused over the weekend as I read the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) findings and conclusion on film subsidies in New Zealand. In three reviews commissioned by MBIE, the reports concluded that without the film subsidies (New Zealand Screen Production Grants), the New Zealand film industry would disappear. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018

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