Worth a look

Reviews of Bridget Williams Books

worthalookTax and Fairness

By Deborah Russell and Terry Baucher

It’s election year and tax – who pays it and how much – is a hot topic. Tax pays for our public services and is one of the ways we all look after each other. So it’s great to have a new and readable book on tax here in New Zealand.

What is a fair and reasonable tax system and does New Zealand’s qualify? This is the central question of a new book by academic Deborah Russell and tax agent and commentator Terry Baucher.

Tax and Fairness is no dry, technical text but instead it comes up with some practical, understandable fixes to make tax fairer through taking a good look at some common tax bugbears; nobody likes secondary tax, the confusing taxing of savings, what tax is doing to the property market and taxing (or not) of multinationals.

In this year’s election, each of the main parties has a different list of promises on tax. So, if tax is one of those things you’ve thought you should know more about, give this book a go. It might just help you decide how to vote.

The New Zealand Project

By Max Harris

Max Harris launched his first book, The New Zealand Project, to a packed room of politicians, academics and supporters in Wellington in April.

The All Souls College Examination Fellow and former Rhodes Scholar introduced the book as an opportunity to ‘reimagine’ political discussion in New Zealand around the values of care, community and creativity.

At a time when we’re facing “monumental issues” from the future of work to climate change, The New Zealand Project offers up some political alternatives that challenge the role and influence of technocratic politics.

The values of care, community and creativity are woven through chapters from economic policy and social infrastructure to the politics of love, pay equity and the changing world of work.

Without making apologies for his youth or idealistic worldview, Harris lays out a purposeful, practical framework for a return to values-driven political dialogue, where politics isn’t just about political parties, but the conversations, campaigns and actions we take individually and collectively in everyday life.

With Harris inundated with media interviews following the book launch, The New Zealand Project has achieved its aim of generating political discussion - it’s a must read for anyone interested in navigating this year’s election not just in terms of policies, but in terms of values.

Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality

By Prue Hyman

The demise of Victoria University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Department has not slowed Professor Prue Hyman down. Her latest book, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality, is a continuation of decades of advocacy, this time honing in on where past promises of equality have landed for women in today’s workplaces.

Using a feminist economic lens, Hyman looks at the state of women’s work in New Zealand today, tackling on-going issues around unionisation, remuneration, unpaid domestic work and the impact of class and ethnicity.

Hyman’s challenge of New Zealand’s progressive, feminist credentials is a reminder that we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. Another neat read from Bridget Williams Books.