The divide between New Zealand’s poorest and wealthiest inhabitants has widened alarmingly over recent decades. Differences in income have grown faster than in most other developed countries.
New Zealand society is being reshaped, stretching to accommodate new distance between those who ‘have’ and those who ‘have not’. Income inequality is a crisis that affects us all.
A diverse gathering of New Zealand scholars, journalists, researchers, business leaders, workers, students and parents share these pages. Their voices speak to the complex shape of income inequality, and its effects on the communities of these Pacific islands.
Inequality means watching people close to you … persistently struggling ... to keep their households afloat, to do their best for their children and to make good decisions by weighing up the constrained range of choices on offer. Karlo Mila
The sharp increase in income concentration at the top of national income distributions over recent decades should have prompted a … public debate about the question: ‘When are the rich too rich?’ Robert Wade
While equality is highly valued, there is huge disagreement about why equality matters and what precisely should be equalised. Jonathan Boston
The future, in one sense, is now. It is not an abstract, theoretical or even visionary picture of what the world may be like in fifty years or a hundred years. It is, rather, the potential we hold now, as a society. Linda Tuhiwai Smith