Wealth and New Zealand

Wealth and New Zealand

We are heading towards Thomas Piketty’s predicted steady state of wealth being worth six times national income. We are not immune to his prognosis of a return to Victorian-style levels of inequality.

The most recent NBR Rich List has revealed the biggest proportional increase in wealth since the list first appeared in 1986. But what do these figures mean and what else do we know about New Zealand’s fortunes? Following his groundbreaking work on income inequality, Max Rashbrooke examines how wealth shapes our experience. Drawing on previously unpublished data, he explores what constitutes wealth in New Zealand – where, how and why it is held. In doing so, he addresses how wealth has come to be so unevenly distributed, and why this imbalance is something we can no longer ignore.

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BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Nov 2015
Pages: 132
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9780908321575
ISTC: A02201500000050B
DOI: 10.7810/9780908321575

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'Soaring House Prices Could Mean A New Kind Of Aristocracy: Economists', Daniel Trencer, The Huffington Post Canada, 7 December 2016

'Generation blessed - housing crisis sparks return of inherited wealth and class' Phil Vine, New Zealand Herald, 6 November 2016

'Average Auckland house price predicted to top $3m by 2036' Phil Vine, New Zealand Herald, 6 November 2016

'We need to talk about wealth', Jane Blaikie, Education Aotearoa, 19 January 2016

'Not such a good century so far', Stuart Moriarty-Patten, Gisborne Herald, 12 January 2016

'Spotlight put on wealth inequality in NZ', Mike Treen, Unite Union, 6 January 2016

'BOOK EXTRACT: Wealth and New Zealand – Where, why and how it is held', NBR, December 2015

'Spotlight put on wealth inequality in NZ', Mike Treen, The Daily Blog, 18 December 2015

'The richest 10 per cent own $436 billion of New Zealand's wealth: research', John Eden, Stuff, 10 December 2015

'What is the role of wealth in New Zealand society?', Adam Ring, Newsroom Plus, 7 December 2015

'Political roundup: The political problems of wealth and inequality', Bryce Edwards, New Zealand Herald, 4 December 2015

'New Zealanders need to share our common wealth. Let's start by discussing inequality', Max Rashbrooke, The Guardian, 23 November 2015

Podcast of 'Above the Parapet', Auckland Libraries, November 2015

'The inequality debate or why the modern left is failing', Nathan Smith, NBR, 13 November 2015

'Double Shot Interview with Max Rashbrooke, Journalist & Author - November 2015', Max Rashbrooke with Jenée Tibshraeny, 12 November 2015

'Who should pay to reduce poverty? Should it be you?', Gareth Morgan, Gareth's World, 11 November 2015

'Income Gets Plenty of Attention – Time to Zoom in on Wealth', Max Rashbrooke, The Spinoff, 9 November 2015

'The haves and the have mores', Jess McAllen, New Zealand Herald, 8 November 2015

Max Rashbrooke with Lisa Owens on The Nation, 3News, 7 November 2015

'Wealth Inequality: Who Owns How Much?', Max Rashbrooke, Briefing Papers, AUT, 8 October 2015


'This is another success in the BWB series of short books. It does things right: presents the facts simply, shows their importance, raises the questions, and proposes some answers. And it’s about economics yet is understandable and readable: a rare combination. I really must get into his earlier book next year.' Gordon Findlay, Booksellers New Zealand, 21 December 2015