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Guest Lecture: Max Rashbrooke and Lisa Marriott - Inequality: is privilege the problem?

Page updated Nov 25, 2015

Event Details


Presentation material for Max Rashbrooke and Lisa Marriott's lecture presented at the Treasury on 24 November 2015.


Typically discussions on inequality focus on issues relating to the poor. Max Rashbrooke and Lisa Marriott adopt a different perspective and investigate the role of society's most privileged groups in shaping inequality. Only by understanding privilege, power and wealth can we understand poverty. Seen this way, inequality becomes a "whole of society" issue, in Linda Tuhiwai Smith's phrase.

Max and Lisa will cover a range of topics relating to inequality and the wealthy, including:

  • The power balance between capital and labour
  • The residential choices of the wealthy
  • Wealth and political donations
  • The role of the tax system in regards to wealth


Max Rashbrooke is the author of 'Wealth and New Zealand', which will be published by Bridget Williams Books (BWB) in November 2015. He edited the best-selling Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, published in June 2013, also by BWB. He is also a research associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. As a journalist, he has written stories for national newspapers and magazines in Britain and New Zealand, including the Guardian, the National Business Review and Metro. He has twice been the recipient of the Bruce Jesson Senior Journalism Award, and is a 2015 Winston Churchill Fellow.

Lisa Marriott is an Associate Professor of Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Accounting and Commercial Law. Lisa's research interests include social justice and inequality, and the behavioural impacts of taxation. Her work is interdisciplinary covering disciplines including criminology, political science and public policy. Lisa was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant to investigate the different treatments of blue- and white-collar crime in the New Zealand justice system. Lisa has worked in the private sector in the United Kingdom and in the public sector in New Zealand. For the past eight years, Lisa has worked in academia.

Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.