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Hidden in the Numbers

Television (Full Length Episodes) – 2006

In this three-part series, presenter Te Radar looks at New Zealand through a statistical lens, using births, deaths, pay packets, travel, consumption of goods and leisure time, to reach some conclusions about how Kiwis live  and how that has changed. Episode one looks at urbanisation and how New Zealanders' ethnic make-up and family unit is rapidly changing. In episode two the focus is on how New Zealanders make and spend their money, and how people's expectations have developed. The final episode examines quality of life and the big footprint left by consumerism. The interviewees include academics Paul Spoonley and Caroline Daley, and social historian Tony Simpson.  

...In the early 1950s New Zealand was the third richest country in the world in terms of income per head. But the decades after the early 1950s through to about 1990 it was a steady decline, and New Zealand sank to about twentieth in the OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development] in terms of per capita income, so it was a big fall.
– New Zealand Institute Chief Executive David Skilling on the country's declining wealth over the decades, early in episode two