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Not in Narrow Seas

Paperback / softback

Main Details

Title Not in Narrow Seas
Authors and Contributors      By (author) Brian Easton
Physical Properties
Format:Paperback / softback
Category/GenreOckham Longlist Titles
General Non-Fiction Award
Australia, New Zealand & Pacific history
ISBN/Barcode 9781776563043

Publishing Details

Publisher Victoria University Press
Imprint Victoria University Press
Publication Date 21 May 2020
Publication Country New Zealand


Not in Narrow Seas is a major contribution to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. It covers everything from the traditional gift-based Maori economy to the Ardern government's attempt to deal with the economic challenges of global warming, and is the first economic history to underline the central role of the environment, beginning with the geological formation of these islands. Economist Brian Easton throws new light on some cherished national myths. He argues that Britain's entry into the EEC was not the major turning point that many assume; of much more lasting importance was the permanent collapse of wool prices in 1966. He asks how far it is true that New Zealand is an egalitarian country where 'Jack's as good as his master'. He offers the most extensive investigation yet of the Rogernomics revolution of the 1980s and early 1990s, and shows that governments of left and right are still grappling with its legacy. Easton deals with the major economic trends since the war - the movement of Maori into the cities, of women into paid work, and of Pasifika people to Aotearoa. He analyses the rise of the modern Maori economy and the increased political power of business, and includes vivid pen portraits of the important yet largely unremembered people who shaped our economy. This is also a profoundly political history, which focuses not only on governments but the share of votes won by the parties: it is our first MMP history. Dr Easton, a well-known commentator and author of numerous books, here offers his greatest work, the fruit of a lifetime of reflection and research.

Author Biography

Dr Brian Easton is a leading independent scholar and commentator on contemporary New Zealand with skills in economics, social statistics, public policy and history. He has researched and written in a wide range of areas vital to an understanding of current issues,introducing frameworks which are foundational in contemporary public discussion and thinking. Brian has written over 30 books and monographs, including The Commercialisation of New Zealand, In Stormy Seas: The Post-war New Zealand Economy, The Whimpering of the State: Policy after MMP, The Nationbuilders, Globalisation and the Wealth of Nations and Heke Tangata: Maori in Markets and Cities. Between 1978 and 2014 he wrote around 900 columns for the New Zealand Listener and since 2014, 300 columns for the Pundit blog, as well as appearing with other media. A former Director of the NZ Institute of Economic Research, Brian has held teaching positions and research fellowships in various overseas and New Zealand universities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Economics Association and was NZIER-NBR Economist of the Year in 2009. Brian holds honorary positions in six universities including an adjunct professorship at Auckland University of Technology and a fellowship at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies.