Category Archives: Political Economy & History

A Brief History of the Māori Economy: How Things Change

Presentation to a Statistics New Zealand Seminar, 23 February, 2021. Māori involvement in the economy has been an integral part of New Zealand’s story, even if we ignore the first 500 years when there was only a Māori economy. Unlike many of our histories, Not in Narrow Seas does not. There are about 40,000 words…
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Is The King Above The Law?

While many readers will say ‘the king is certainly not above the law’, not everyone believes that, especially if they are in power. The term ‘democracy’ is complicated and often used misleadingly. For instance, the ‘German Democratic Republic’ (a.k.a. East Germany), which was a part of the Soviet Empire, had one male in four reporting…
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Opening Pandora’s American Box

All nations have shadows; some acknowledge them. For others they shape their image in uncomfortable ways. The staunch Labour supporter was in despair at what her Rogernomics Government was doing. But she finished ‘at least, we got rid of Muldoon’, a response which tells us that then, and today, one’s views of Robert Muldoon, prime…
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Reviews of Not in Narrow Seas

Michael Reddell. ‘Not in Narrow Seas’, Croaking Cassandra, May 30, 2020. Brian Fallow: ‘Progress of NZ Economy Has Been a Rocky Road’ Herald, 20 June 2020. Joan Druett: ‘Not in Narrow Seas’, World of the Written Word. 21 June 2020. Shamubeel Eaqub: ‘Brian Easton Will Now Harrumph’, Newsroom, July 2, 2020 Max Harris: ‘Book Review…
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ECONOMISTS AT WAR: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars: Alan Bollard

New Zealand International Review, January/February 2021 Vol 46, No 1: p.28-29 (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2020, 321pp, £20) The outcome of a long war is usually determined by the economic strength of the combatants. But how to present this in a lively and interesting way — battles are so much more engaging? Alan Bollard successfully…
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Review of ‘Not in Narrow Seas’ by Gerald McGhie.

New Zealand Journal of International Affairs, November/December, Vol 46, No 6, p.28. Not in Narrow Seas makes an important contribution to the history of New Zealand centred on the economy. Brian Easton sees the economy as near the heart of any society for, as he argues, ‘it produces the goods and services that sustain the…
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Brian Fallow: Progress of NZ economy has been a rocky road

Economics Column: New Zealand Herald, 19 Jume 2020. These are historic times we are living through, so there is illumination, and some comfort, to be derived from contemplating our history. A richly informative contribution to that is Brian Easton’s latest book Not in Narrow Seas: The Economic History of Aotearoa New Zealand . It is…
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What Happened to Egalitarian New Zealand?

Bob Scott Lecture Series on Inequality, 25 June 2019. (See also Have We Abandoned the Egalitarian Society?) What I want to do this evening is examine egalitarianism. In particular, New Zealand is a less egalitarian society today than it was when I was growing up in the 1950s. Why? How? The structure of the paper…
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