‘Economy and the city’ – new Te Ara theme

Hot off the press from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage is the launch of  Economy and the City – the newest theme of Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
Here is the media release announcing what it has to offer:

Photo of The main entrance of Ballantynes, 1901
The main entrance of Ballantynes, 1901

Compiled by leading economists from around the country, the entry tells the story of New Zealand’s economy from its earliest beginnings through to the present day. The entry uses hundreds of archival photos, videos and audio clips, making this an interesting and accessible resource for students, researchers, and anyone with an interest in the history of our economic fortunes.

“Although the economy affects us all, New Zealanders are often confused about how it really works. The clear and interesting content in this entry cuts through the jargon and statistics, helping to educate New Zealanders about what really affects their pay packets”, Te Ara General Editor Jock Phillips said. The entry also shows the important role that cities have played in the economic life of the country, tracking the growth of major urban centres and exploring topics such as street life, city language and fashion, parades and protest marches.”It provides fascinating insights into the places that most New Zealanders call home – how property became the basis of Auckland’s economy, why Wellingtonians like to think they live life ‘on the edge’, and what gives Christchurch its inclination for Englishness and eccentricity.”

Interesting facts in the entry include:

  • Breweries were among the first New Zealand industries. In 1867, the country boasted 51 breweries, the majority of which were found in Canterbury.
  • Since 1891, females have outnumbered males in our main cities. A 2005 report confirmed this ‘man drought’, finding that an average 32 year old woman had the same chance of finding a partner as an 82 year old.
  • In 2009, almost half of New Zealand’s wealth was owned by the richest 10 percent of households.
  • Out of the eight New Zealanders whose wealth exceeded $1 billion in 2008, only one was a woman.
  • The single most important asset for most households is the house they live in.
  • In 1981, geographer Kenneth Cumberland predicted that by the year 2000, most New Zealanders would be ‘teleworking’ – working from home using computers.

The other themes are:

Still to come: Social Connections, Nation, Daily Life, and Creativity …

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