A bold new book on population trends and the need to confront them
In this timely book, New Zealand’s best-known commentator on population trends, Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, shows how, as New Zealand moves into the 2020s, the demographic dividends of the last 70 years are turning into deficits.
Our population patterns have been disrupted. More boomers, fewer children, an ever bigger Auckland and declining regions are the new normal. We will need new economic models, new ways of living.
Spoonley says: ‘It is not a crisis (even if at times it feels like it), but rather something that needs to be understood and responded to. But I fear that policy-makers and politicians are not up to the challenge. That would be a crisis.’
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‘Writing, let alone reading, a book about demographic disruption in a year characterized by the massive disruption of Covid-19 might seem a little like an exercise of adding misery to woe. And while this book, by Massey University’s Paul Spoonley, was mostly written prior in 2019 while he was on sabbatical in Germany, much of it had to be amended quickly as the publishing date coincided with the emergence of coronavirus in 2020. In its way, the book is even better for that. The themes of the book take on a different perspective, greater urgency even, in the light of the further pressure that they will be placed under because of the impacts of Covid-19.’ — Andrew Butcher, Principal, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute