Insight for Sunday 9 February 2014
Once one of the most equal nations in the world, during the 80s and 90s New Zealand's income gap widened faster than any other developed country.
Equality advocates say that is too wide and is responsible for social problems including high rates of mental illness, teenage pregnancy, violence and incarceration.
Others say obsessing about a "gap" is a distraction from tackling poverty itself.
Penny Mackay considers both arguments and some of the offered solutions.
Image courtesy of Lyndy McIntyre, Service and Food Workers Union