Blog Archives

Dangerous confusion, Tim Hazledine

The Fire Economy: New Zealand’s Reckoning
Jane Kelsey
Bridget Williams Books, $50.00,
ISBN 9781927247839

“Imagine,” said the great physicist Richard Feynman, “how much harder physics would be if electrons had emotions!” Harder still, if not just emotions but consciousness, memory and reasoning power. Perhaps they do – I don’t know. I do know that people have these attributes and more, and I have come to appreciate just how difficult that fact makes life for those of us who study the human or social sciences, such as economics.

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Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review

The undemocratic free market, Bryan Gould

Beyond the Free Market: Rebuilding a Just Society in New Zealand
David Cooke, Claire Hill, Pat Baskett and Ruth Irwin (eds)
Dunmore Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9711927212189

In the opening essay of this impressive collection, Nicky Hager identifies 1993 as the crucial date when opinion turned against Rogernomics and Ruth Richardson; and yet, he asks, “more than 20 years after that profound change in public opinion, New Zealand still retains many of the policies of the 1980s and early 1990s. Why?”

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Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review

Lifting the lid, Colin Peacock

Dirty Politics: How Attack Politics is Poisoning New Zealand’s Political Environment
Nicky Hager
Craig Potton Publishing, $35.00,
ISBN 9781927213360

The Catch: How Fishing Companies Reinvented Slavery and Plunder the Oceans
Michael Field
Awa Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781927249024

“Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made.” That zinger, attributed to Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, is still a go-to piece of wisdom today for those pointing out that plenty of nastiness goes on behind the scenes, which most people either ignore, or remain blissfully ignorant of. Some journalists today say the same applies to the unsavoury side of getting a good story. For instance, when Mediawatch asked an Australian reporter about the families of Pike River victims being pressed for exclusive and personal interviews, she fell back on that same saw. Some reporters even call their own workplaces “sausage factories”, pumping out cheap, filling content for public consumption day after day, rather than prime cuts.

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Posted in Economics, Media, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Town and country, Brian Easton

Growing Apart: Regional Prosperity in New Zealand
Shamubeel Eaqub
Bridget Williams Books, $15.00,
ISBN 9781927277614

When the Farm Gates Opened: The Impact of Rogernomics on Rural New Zealand
Neal Wallace
Otago University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9781877578724

In the last hundred years, the median population centre of New Zealand has moved from near Nelson (which is at the geographic centre of New Zealand) to near Hamilton. The drift north has been remorseless, as has been the drift to the cities. A hundred years ago, one in two New Zealanders lived rurally; today it is one in six, fewer than those who live in Auckland.

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Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review

Perched precariously on the edge, Ramesh Thakur

Tigers in New Zealand? The Role of Asian Investment in the Economy R D Cremer and B Ramasamy Institute of Policy Studies and Asia 200 Foundation, $18.00, ISBN 0 908935 03 x New Zealand and ASEAN: The Strategic and Economic

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Popper, Plato and profits, Rodney Hide

The Commercialisation of New Zealand Brian Easton Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1 86940 173 5 Reining in the Dinosaur: The Story Behind the Remarkable Turnaround of New Zealand Post Vivienne Smith New Zealand Post, $24.95, ISBN 0 473 04389

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Posted in Economics, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Low rating, Brian Gaynor

Bulls, Bears and Elephants: A History of the New Zealand Stock Exchange David Grant Victoria University Press, $69.95, ISBN 0 86473 308 9 The stock exchange is an enigma to many. The organisation has a popular image as a wealthy

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Posted in Economics, History, Non-fiction and Review

Did the reforms work? Yes and no Paul Dalziel

A Study of Economic Reform: The Case of New Zealand eds Brian Silverstone, Alan Bollard and Ralph Lattimore Elsevier North-Holland, $US145.25, ISBN 0 444 81985 1 Between 14 July 1984 (when the electorate decisively rejected Sir Robert Muldoon’s approach to economic management) and 1

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Mucking around in the swamp, Ralph Lattimore

International Trade and Competition Policy: CER, APEC and the WTO  Kerrin Vautier and Peter Lloyd Institute of Policy Studies, $30.00, ISBN 0 908935 18 8 For those who find it difficult to keep hold of the threads in discussions of

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Did we do right? Paul Dyer

The New Zealand Macroeconomy, A Briefing on the Reforms Paul Dalziel and Ralph Lattimore Oxford University Press, $19.95, ISBN 0 19 558330 2 Prosperity Mislaid Len Bayliss GP Print, $19.95, ISBN 1 86956 107 4 Rebuilding New Zealand  John Robinson

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Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review
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