By any measure, New Zealand must confront some monumental issues in the years ahead. From the future of work to climate change, geopolitical upheaval to housing affordability, wealth inequality to new populism – these challenges are complex and even unprecedented in their scope. Yet why, as Max Harris argues in this far-sighted book, does New Zealand’s political thinking and discussion often seem so diminished? Do we even possess the political means and imagination to match the enormity of these issues? And why is this gap particularly apparent to young New Zealanders?
In this bold and enlivening work, Harris’s attempt to find answers to these questions evolves into his own ‘New Zealand project’. The book represents, from the perspective of a brilliant young New Zealander, a vision for how this country and all of its people can best overcome and prosper from the challenges ahead. It calls for a centring of values-based politics: in particular, a politics grounded in care, community, and creativity. Unashamedly idealistic, The New Zealand Project ultimately does not seek to prescribe a new future but instead kick-start a fresh and bigger conversation about how to improve the country – and the world – we all inhabit now.