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Nathan Smith

Chief Editor

Nathan is The New Zealand Initiative’s chief editor. He ensures the team’s research is delivered in a clear and timely fashion so it can receive maximum impact among New Zealand’s top decision-makers.

He brings deep experience writing about business and policy from his eight years as a reporter for The National Business Review and holds a Bachelor of Communication from Massey University. During his time at the NBR, he wrote weekly columns on foreign affairs and trade, coordinated the newspaper’s feature section and covered the country’s most exciting technology companies and startups.

Latest report:
Democracy in the Dark (2020)
Research Note: Reinforcing New Zealand’s trade relationships after Covid-19 (2020)

Phone: +64 4 499 9102


Recent Work


Retail therapy

Back in March, the World Happiness Index 2020 placed New Zealand eighth with a score of 7.3, tucked between Austria and Sweden. Every country ranking higher was Nordic (aside from Switzerland) and I notice they also have plenty of Ikea stores. Read more

Nathan Smith
Insights Newsletter
18 September, 2020
Podcast image22

Podcast #21: Joel Hernandez on why are state-integrated schools doing so well?

Using a previously-developed analysis tool, a new report by policy analyst Joel Hernandez has tackled the question of whether private schools are worth the high cost. His results? At least in terms of University Entrance (UE) attainment, state-integrated schools are doing marginally better on average. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Nathan Smith
14 August, 2020

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