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Based on unit record data from four household surveys conducted by Statistics New Zealand for the years 1983/1984, 1991/1992, 1995/1996 and 1997/1998, this paper addresses some ethnic dimensions of income inequality among New Zealanders over the period of the surveys. It applies alternative techniques of decomposition of the Gini coefficient of inequality by subgroups of population. It then analyses how changes in the incomes of specific population subgroups affect the overall inequality. The results help quantify the economic distances among the different ethnic populations of New Zealand, and indicate how and why these distances have been changing over time.