Public opinion supports action on inequality. Jacinda Ardern has no more excuses | Max Rashbrooke and Peter Skilling
New Zealanders increasingly believe you need money and connections to get ahead in life
Jacinda Ardern can take heart: in the last decade, public attitudes have swung sharply against New Zealand’s persistently high levels of economic inequality. Space has opened up for her to pursue the egalitarian agenda she cherishes – although, conversely, her excuses for not acting have sharply diminished.
Public opinion surveys from the two decades after 1990 showed a consistent trend: decreasing concern over economic inequality, and decreasing support for government action to tackle it, especially through taxes. The pro-market ideas of New Zealand’s 1980s reforms seemed invulnerable.