chapter  9
8 Pages

The silencing of Blackball working class heritage, New Zealand: Paul Maunder


In New Zealand, the 1990s were the zenith (or nadir), of the practice of neoliberal ideology. As a country, in a strange act of masochism, we imposed upon ourselves the extreme form of the market-based economy much in favour with the World Bank and the IMF. Using a blitzgreig approach, the Labour government of 1984 had, according to Jane Kesley:

… lifted exchange controls, deregulated the financial markets and floated the dollar. Price stability was made the Reserve Bank’s sole objective. Foreign investment rules were relaxed, and state assets (notably telecommunications, forests and the Post Office Savings Bank) were sold to foreign companies. Domestic subsidies were withdrawn and domestic markets deregulated. Tariffs were reduced, and other trade protections removed. Internationally the Labour government pursued a vigorous free trade position.