If you're after facts and figures this little book is a good start. It's an introduction to Max Rashbrooke's weightier tome of the same name and highlights the main points.
It details the history of New Zealand's former egalitarian society, beginning with Samuel Parnell in 1840, a carpenter, and founder of our public holiday Labour Day, which celebrates the 8 hour a day, 40 hour working week.
We progressed from there to the Welfare State, which allocated money to social policies funded by taxes paid by individuals and businesses.
One of the clues to why our society is so unequal now is on Page 43. It's an illustration of a ladder showing that 50% of New Zealanders earn less than $25,000 p.a, 70% less than $45,000 and 90% less than $76,000.
If you're looking for a quick, informative resume of this contentious issue, this is an invaluable resource.
Author: Max Rashbrooke
Reviewed by Clare K. Massey Library
Clare K works at Massey Library in West Auckland. She believes that there is nothing you can't learn from a book, and the more you know the more you grow.