Press Statement: The New Zealand Initiative celebrates Senior Fellow Michael Johnston's appointment

Dr Michael Johnston
19 December, 2023

Wellington (Tuesday, 19 December 2023) – The New Zealand Initiative proudly announces the appointment of its Senior Fellow, Dr Michael Johnston, as the Chair of the Government’s newly established Ministerial Advisory Group to review the primary school English, maths and statistics curricula in New Zealand.

Dr Johnston is a cognitive psychologist with an extensive background in the education sector. He has held academic positions at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University of Wellington. He has also been a Senior Statistician at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and contributed to Ministry of Education policy work.

The Ministerial Advisory Group, led by Dr Johnston, will review the curricula and teaching methods to provide teachers with the clarity and tools needed to teach these core subjects effectively. Dr Johnston will lead a world-class team, including literacy expert Emeritus Professor James Chapman, mathematician Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin and curriculum design expert Professor Elizabeth Rata. Work will be done in the first half of 2024, ready for implementation in 2025.

The Government, under Education Minister Erica Stanford, has promised transformative changes to ensure all children receive a world-leading education with an aspirational target of 80 per cent of children meeting curriculum expectations by the time they finish intermediate.

The New Zealand Initiative is confident that Dr Johnston's leadership of the Ministerial Advisory Group will significantly contribute to realising these educational goals. His appointment represents a major step forward in enhancing the quality of education in New Zealand, and The New Zealand Initiative is excited to support him in this pivotal role.



About The New Zealand Initiative

The New Zealand Initiative is an evidence-based think tank and research institute contributing to public policy discussion.

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