ERO’s Evidence and Insights provide in-depth studies of different aspects of education in New Zealand, make recommendations for improvement and share evidence-based good practice.

Our insights are driven by our Education Evaluation Centre (Te Ihuwaka) and our specialist group Te Poumataaho whose specialist kaupapa Māori expertise enables insights into supporting Māori enjoying and achieving education success as Māori.

Our work

We work to understand and report on system performance, evaluate initiatives, promote good practice, and identify emerging challenges and opportunities. 

We produce a range of resources, including research reports, short summaries, good practice guides, and short sector insights. We do this across three main areas: 

Our Team

ERO’s team of education experts are based across New Zealand and work closely with schools and ECE services every day. Our Evidence and Insights are led by:

Nicholas Pole, Chief Review Officer

Nicholas Pole

Chief Executive/Chief Review Officer

Nick has been New Zealand’s Chief Review Officer since 2017, and has responsibility for the review of education services and programmes across Aotearoa New Zealand. In this role he has fundamentally reformed the way ERO works with early learning services and schools, with an increased focus on building sector capability in self-review and introduced a performance review and improvement cycle.

He has been involved in educational research and administration in New Zealand and Victoria, Australia for a period spanning more than 30 years. In this he has headed up a broad range of areas including policy, service delivery, research, and evaluation. While working in Australia, in addition to overseeing the performance of the Victorian state school system, he also had responsibility for Victoria’s child and maternal health services. In the early 2000s he established the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation overseeing world leading studies into the living standards of New Zealanders.

Ruth Shinoda – Deputy Chief Executive – Head of the Education Evaluation Centre

Ruth Shinoda

Deputy Chief Executive – Head of the Education Evaluation Centre

Ruth is responsible for ERO’s Education Evaluation Centre, Data and Insights Unit and policy work programme. Her role includes setting the Centre’s strategy, direction and research and evaluation work programme.

Prior to joining ERO Ruth worked in education research and policy in New Zealand (including as Associate Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Education), in England (for the Department of Education and Private Equity Foundation) and in Japan (as a Daiwa Foundation Scholar).

Deborah Wood – Deputy Chief Executive Te Tahu Whare, acting

Deborah Wood

Deputy Chief Executive Te Tahu Whare, acting

Deb is responsible for leading ERO’s work supporting improvement for Māori-learners through review, rangahau and research.

Her role includes working collaboratively with evaluators, sector, whānau and learners to understand issues, opportunities and solutions that can support a strong education system that delivers for learners, with a particular focus on Māori leaners and learners of te reo Māori.

Prior to joining ERO Deb worked in schools both as an educator and in leadership roles informing her role in review, and later research and program development.

Notably, Deb led our rangahau and kaupapa Māori research program undertaken by Te Pou Mataaho, holding a key role in the development of both research (Te Kura Huanui, Nihinihi Whenua) and practical tools for improvement (Poutama Reo).