Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Wealth gap in New Zealand underlined by updated book

Gap between the rich and the rest in New Zealand underlined by updated book

5 August, 2014

The latest data on poverty and inequality in New Zealand underline the size of the gap between the rich and the rest, according to the updated edition of The Inequality Debate: An Introduction.

Author Max Rashbrooke has updated the book using data released just a few weeks ago by the Ministry of Social Development. Rashbrooke threads this new data into the wider story of the large income gaps that have opened up in New Zealand over the last three decades.

As the book shows, inequality has increased slightly since the global financial crisis, reversing earlier decreases from policies like Working for Families. Since 2009, incomes have been static or falling for people in the poorest half of the country, but increasing for the rich.

But the book also traces the wider New Zealand story of inequality, starting with a huge surge in income gaps in the 1980s and 1990s – the biggest in the developed world – which left the country far more unequal than it was thirty years ago.

Someone in the richest 10 per cent now earns eight times as much as the person in the lowest 10 per cent, whereas in the 1980s they would have earned just 4.5 times as much.

And despite a mixed picture in recent years, New Zealand’s poverty rates remain extremely high – double what they were in the 1980s.

The percentage of all people in poverty was 9 per cent in the mid-1980s; now it’s 18 per cent. The percentage of children in poverty was 11 per cent in the mid-1980s; now it’s 24 per cent.

These concentrations of poverty, along with concentrations of great wealth, are – the book argues – one of the most important issues in 2014. Indeed, opinion polling shows that inequality and poverty are now the single most pressing issue for many New Zealanders.

The Inequality Debate: An Introduction is part of a series of short books published by Bridget Williams Books called ‘BWB Texts’. The book’s chapters were originally drawn from the larger work Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis published last year.

The Inequality Debate is both fascinating and horrifying. So short that you’ve got no excuse, this is the best book you can read if you want to be informed on an issue that will dominate the rhetoric of all major political parties this election year.’ David Williams,Salient

About the author
Max Rashbrooke is a Wellington journalist and author. He has written for national newspapers and magazines in New Zealand and the UK, including the Guardian, the Herald and the Listener.

About BWB Texts
BWB Texts are short books on big subjects. Published as snappy Penguin-style paperbacks and DRM-free e-books, this new series unlocks exciting opportunities for New Zealand non-fiction. Many more BWB Texts are scheduled for release through 2014 and beyond.

Rashbrooke is a contributor to a BWB Text publishing in October that collects New Zealand responses to Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

For more information about BWB Texts please visit our website.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters. They’ve been asked to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music. Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens.

If I didn’t know any better, it would seem the world has conspired for me to be a Green Party voter. Parents, Green voters? Check. Participation in bilingual education that stressed the importance of inquiry, solidarity and the Treaty? Check. Some sort of vegetarian leanings (seven years and counting, jus’ sayin’)? Check. However, above all of that, I’m voting Green because I believe in supporting the importance of every New Zealander’s contribution to Aotearoa, from the hairdresser in Foxton to the fisherman in Bluff. You could say that I like the cut of the Greens’ jib. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news