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 report:
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


When Census does not go as planned

A shocking 700,000 individuals - or 14.3 percent of New Zealand’s population - either partially completed or did not complete the 2018 Census. More shocking than the numbers themselves was how this information was made public. It was only under threat of parliamentary contempt that Liz MacPherson, Chief Statistician of Statistics New Zealand, finally revealed that last year’s Census was in worse condition than previously identified. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019

Decile debacle

“Decile is not a proxy for school quality”. Principals, teachers and education professionals have said this for years, and yet students have been flocking out of low decile schools and into high decile schools all this while. Decile drift is one of many issues highlighted in the 2018 Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce Review. Since 1995, when the decile funding model was implemented, the number of students in decile 8–10 schools has increased from 201,000 to 280,000; in contrast, the number of... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
12 April, 2019

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