Book Review: In Search of Consensus: New Zealand’s Electoral Act 1956 and its Constitutional Legacy, by Elizabeth McLeay

Available in bookshops nationwide.  This is an easy to read book on a very specific subject, New Zealand electoral law, and the Parliamentary process by which it changes. Although somewhat dry, for anyone interested in the political process, with Parliament … Continue reading

Book Review: Phoney Wars – New Zealand Society in the Second World War, by Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Hugh Eldred-Grigg

Available in bookshops nationwide. This book is intended to be a maverick account of the Second World War, a kind of anti-military historian view. As a chronicle of dissent in New Zealand during World War Two it might have some … Continue reading

Book Review: The Death and Life of Australian Soccer, by Joe Gorman

Available in bookshops nationwide. This is primarily a book about sport, but it is also so much more than that. It tells us a lot about recent Australian history, especially about post-war migration, and its urban setting. Although it is … Continue reading

Book Review: Hard Frost: Structures of Feeling in New Zealand Literature, 1908-1945, by John Newton

Available in bookshops nationwide. This is the first instalment of a projected three-part series on New Zealand literature. It’s a rather curious project, if John Newton’s preface is to be accepted. He claims that New Zealand literature, as he knew … Continue reading

Book Review: Point of Order, Mr Speaker?: Modern Māori Political Leaders,edited by Selwyn and Rahui Katene

Available in bookshops nationwide. With the recent election it appears that Māori politics has changed significantly. The Māori  electorate seats have reverted to Labour, and the Māori Party is, at least temporarily, off the stage. A book on Māori leadership could have been … Continue reading

Book Review: Sugar, Rum and Tobacco: Taxes and Public Health in New Zealand, by Mike Berridge & Lisa Marriott

Available in bookshops nationwide. This book is a very short treatise on the perils of sugar consumption, and the possibilities of taxing it. The title refers to the view of classical economist, Adam Smith, that all three commodities are proper … Continue reading

Book Review: Precarity: Uncertain, Insecure and Unequal Lives in Aotearoa New Zealand

Available in bookshops nationwide. This book is from the newest university publisher in New Zealand, Massey University Press, and presents some new research from post-graduate students and academics, mostly from Massey and Waikato Universities. It is a reminder that there … Continue reading

Book Review: The 9th Floor, edited by Guyon Espiner and Tim Watkin

Available in bookshops nationwide. This was quite a difficult book to review, with the election campaign all over bar the shouting. I almost feel like we need to know who the next Prime Minister is, to put it all in … Continue reading

Book Review: Along for the Ride: A Political Memoir, by Tony Simpson

Available in bookshops nationwide. Tony Simpson is best known for his history and non-fiction writing. This book is a self-published autobiography, more than a memoir. There are many personal aspects and reflections which are interesting, but the personal is not … Continue reading

Book Review: Tax and Fairness, by Deborah Russell & Terry Baucher

Available in bookshops nationwide. Two well-known tax experts try to write a concise and intelligible book about tax. For the most part they succeed. This book is also intended to be part of a moral conversation about why we pay … Continue reading