Wealth textWe 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.

Discussions on inequality tend to focus on income – the gaps in the amount of annual income going to rich and poor. But inequality of wealth – the assets that people have stored up – is also important. Wealth and New Zealand opens a new front in the inequality debate by looking at who owns what in this country, and how unequally that is divided.

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 Drawing on previously unpublished data, he explores what constitutes wealth in New Zealand – where, how and why it is held.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.

Buy the book from the publisher, Bridget Williams Books, here.