John is an experienced analyst who specialises in bridging the worlds of policy and data. He knows how to draw practical insights from complex information and present them to different audiences – from senior decision makers, to technical specialists, to general audiences.
John thrives on responding to challenging and novel problems, starting with analysing them in a way that’s grounded in the facts. He joined us in 2023 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Small Business Policy team he was closely involved in supporting businesses to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
At MIBE John focussed on the financial wellbeing of businesses that were forced by the COVID lockdowns and other public-health measures to scale down their operations. Beyond COVID, he also worked to develop solutions to the various day-to-day challenges New Zealand businesses face in relation to cashflow and access to finance.
John has rich experience of the machinery of government, and his broad range of professional interests include the economy, business demographics, and the health system. Before his time at MBIE, he worked in strategy and policy roles at the Ministry of Health.
John takes a calm, focussed, and collegial approach to his work. He’s endlessly curious and always looking for an opportunity to build on his data-analysis skills. His driving motivation is to create the evidence-based insights needed for consistent, unbiased decision making so that government can improve the lives of the people of Aotearoa.
Outside work John devotes most of his energy to caring for his two young sons, Larry and Ralph. He particularly enjoys walks, talks, puzzles, and playing around on the piano. John speaks Japanese and is learning Mandarin.
Examples of John’s work
John was policy lead on the Business Payment Practices Bill and associated advice relating to the economy-wide impact of New Zealand businesses’ cashflow issues. The Bill aims to improve the negotiating position of small businesses when they are setting payment times with larger ones, by requiring New Zealand’s largest businesses to publicly disclose information on payment times.
During the public-health response to COVID-19 John often provided urgent advice to Ministers on financial and wellbeing supports for businesses affected by the pandemic. This advice drew on new sources of high-frequency information, given the absence of the usual, less frequent, sources of information that would typically inform funding decisions.
John was closely involved with quality assurance in the Ministry of Health’s Budget process and was the research and analytical lead on several high-value Budget bids in Vote Health, including cost‑benefit analysis of targeted subsidies for GP visits for low‑income people.
John has a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Otago, and a BCom in Economics (Honours) from Victoria University of Wellington