Palmer on Lange and Clark

November 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Anthony Hubbard at Stuff reports:

The Lange government fell apart, Sir Geoffrey says, because of “a failure of one of the most basic principles of Cabinet government”.

Prime Minister was the main culprit. He canned the newly elected government’s notorious economic package of December 1987, a dramatic lurch to the Right based on a flat income tax and sweeping privatisation.

Lange’s unilateral decision was something “that you can’t do”, Sir Geoffrey says. “And that’s why it all fell apart.”

He points to the selfishness of both men. “Neither David nor Roger seemed in their epic struggle to consider the interests of anyone but themselves,” he writes.

There were faults on both sides, “but David had serious weaknesses that in the end destroyed his government”.

“He could not or would not have meaningful discussions with Roger Douglas over their differences.”

In terms of the actual management of government, Lange was arguably the most incompetent Prime Minister we’ve had. He had great strengths but he couldn’t do the basics right.

“He was not well organised personally and lacked administrative skills. His office was not well run and that was his fault.

“He did not have much stamina for meetings, and politics requires many long meetings. He often left meetings for long periods, aimlessly wandering about talking to people.”

Lange’s “multifarious health problems affected not only his ability for sustained work but also in later years his judgment. . .

“Neither did he seem to be able or willing in Cabinet to argue strongly for particular policy positions, so it was hard to see where he was coming from.

“He really did not exert much influence over the policies of his own government. He was not an effective policy operator.”

Nature abhors a vacuum, and this is probably one of the reasons why Roger Douglas ended up almost running the Government.

When Sir Geoffrey became prime minister, was elected as his deputy. His assessment of her performance is cool.

Clark “is, as everyone knows, extremely able. She was not, however, an ideal deputy because she had only been a minister since the 1987 election.

“In January 1990 she was saddled with two new and difficult portfolios, health and labour. As a result, she did not have the time to devote to firefighting and management of the whole.

“Her style was to micromanage her portfolios. She had strong connections with the party and that was very helpful, but I found myself wishing sometimes that I had a deputy of the type I had been.”

Loyal? Clark knifed Palmer to install Moore.

Tags: , ,

87 Responses to “Palmer on Lange and Clark”

  1. BeeJay (69 comments) says:

    I had a bit to do with Geoffrey Palmer back in history (early Chen & Palmer days). I always thought that he was too sensible a person, and an extremely sound thinker, to have had the significant involvement with Labour that he had had. Too honest a person to have had someone like Clark as his Deputy. He wouldn’t have seen it coming! I wouldn’t be surprised if he has voted National for years!!

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. iMP (2,312 comments) says:

    Move forward to now, and a person in the White House, masked – unfortunately – by a reasonably capable inner bureaucracy that masks the personality and competence weaknesses of a president and his political-hacks-appointed White House.

    I think we’re up to the Pope phase, and falling asleep on the Beehive couch with a bottle of wine. Tick tick.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Palmer voted NZFirst hehe.

    Turned his back on Act I would think. Though he never did condone that Nat/Lab party. Interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Mobile Michael (428 comments) says:

    Palmer was the ideal deputy but the worst PM. Even Marshall and Rowling were better.Well, maybe not Rowling.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. backster (2,106 comments) says:

    Lange was the best stand up comic since Oliver Hardy, though Hardy would have been a better Prime Minister. Palmer though probably did more to destroy our economy and way of life.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘Palmer though probably did more to destroy our economy and way of life.’

    I thought that would have been Rogernomics which was really an extension of Muldoonism.

    Palmer certainly did not have the enduring tenure of H Clark.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 29 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Linda Reid (407 comments) says:

    Douglas was the opposite of Muldoon – Muldoon tried to tightly control everything (wage and price freeze?) and Douglas opened everything up. could not be more different.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Linda Reid

    On that note I think a living wage will be scuttled by business. They’ll lift prices and everyone will be back to square one.

    There should be a living wage increase and a 12-18 month price freeze across the board so the economy can rebound by the uplifted and confident consumer who maybe even able to save.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 26 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business

    Are you ( were you ) a big fan of socialist Muldoon command and control intervention ?

    Clearly your position is left of centre and you point to Muldoon type policies as the way forward – but I bet you struggle to acknowledge the damage done by Muldoon was because of this type of policy and nothing to do with National being the party flag the bully socialist operated from.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Linda Reid (407 comments) says:

    People under 45 may not remember what it like in NZ before the 1984 Labour government opened everything up. They may not even believe the restrictions that were imposed on what we could buy from overseas, what could be imported for sale in NZ and the range of punitive sales taxes on everyday items. Not to mention the transfer of money from all taxpayers to farmers and other businesses via subsidies. Add to that the nightmare of dealing with government departments for something as simple as getting a telephone put in and no-one today would tolerate what we had to put up with.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    burt

    Actually, I think Think Big may well have been a success. Looked good on paper

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. OneTrack (2,754 comments) says:

    wiki – In one sentence you decry Rogernomics with Muldoonism, and in the next you are proposing that NZ should take a highly interventionist approach ie exactly what Muldoon did and which failed spectacularly, requiring the correction of 1984.

    So, your approach is to force a wage rise and a price freeze at the same time. Basically you are saying you are a Muldoonist. How many companies will go bust under such a regime -10%, 50%,….. Never mind, Russels printing press will be at the ready to save us.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Komata (1,139 comments) says:

    For the benefit of those who might be too young to remember…..

    This is absolutely NOTHING new and once again, Sir Geoffrey is justifying himself, portraying himself as being squeaky-clean and (as he has done before on several occasions), ‘knifing’ those whom he disliked. Situation normal, yet Stuff accepts it without question or investigation.

    Perhaps it is helpful to remember that Palmer was an active advocate and proponent of Rogernomics, prepared the (now infamous) State Owned Enterprises Act, and paved the way for the RMA. He was also an extremely ineffective Prime Minister, and was replaced by Mike Moore.

    Some of us have long memories and were there at the time…….

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    OneTrack

    “wiki – In one sentence you decry Rogernomics with Muldoonism, and in the next you are proposing that NZ should take a highly interventionist approach ie exactly what Muldoon did and which failed spectacularly, requiring the correction of 1984.”

    It’s different when Labour do it !

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Labour’s Palmer, a pompous tosser and chameleonic politician attempting to rewrite history.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    Linda Reid

    The socialists of today look back through the rose tinted glasses of the dim-bulb partisan hacks of yesterday and just say we shouldn’t have sold Telecom… They have no idea ( and refuse to believe ) it might have taken 2 months to get a phone connected if the Post Office was having a bad hair month.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. OneTrack (2,754 comments) says:

    Linda – “in and no-one today would tolerate what we had to put up with.”

    The electorate seem to be determined to put that to the test in 2014. With what Cunliffe, Norman and Turei are saying already (not even counting Mana and Winston), we are looking at a highly interventionist future where there will be only one option for many things ie NZ Power is where you will buy your power from, and their price will be the price, and KiwiAssure will no doubt put many other insurance companies out of business, with evntually the same result -one option, one price. A communist nirvana for sure and governmnt departments for africa.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. kiwi in america (2,462 comments) says:

    As poor a retail politician as Palmer was, I’m inclined to believe his account as it accords with private conversations I’ve had with Mike Moore, Michael Bassett and Richard Prebble who were in the thick of it. The scuttling of the flat tax unilaterally by press conference with no internal discussion, except pillow talk with Margaret, was the death knell of the 4th Labour Government. Had Cabinet axed the flat tax after cogent arguments and a majority vote against it, Douglas and Prebble would’ve (reluctantly) gone along with the change. It was as much Lange’s appalling people management skills as it was the policy difference. That’s not to say that Labour still wouldn’t have fractured had the flat tax been implemented because Anderton, Clark, Cullen and the sisterhood were all bruising for a fight with Douglas.

    Various people close to the action have remarked how Lange’s affair with Pope changed him. If I hadn’t have seen the change in my own father when he commenced an affair that ultimately destroyed his marriage, I would never have put much credence in that observation.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘many companies will go bust under such a regime -10%, 50%,….. ‘

    Almost happening currently.

    Why should the business community get everythjing their own way anyway .

    about time the people of this country, commonly known as consumers by the UN because we eat, got a break as much as business, bankers and CEO’s have over the decades !!

    Besides, time goes fast and 18 months would go very fast

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    Think big looks good on paper …. Fuck me… What are they teaching the lefty muppets of today.

    Those of us who lived through that socialist intervention state provision of everything period ending in complete economic collapse know that the historic accolades from shit for brains socialists advocating state control are complete fabrications.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Linda Reid (407 comments) says:

    Sometimes, 2 months was a good ‘day’ – a new business could wait maybe 6 months for a phone line. The sales tax on cosmetics was, from memory, 60% and tampons were taxed at the same rate. Politicians (almost all men) decided what the sales tax was and they taxed ‘non essentials’ at a much higher rate. GST replaced sales tax and evened all that out. buying a new car required overseas funds and a wait of sometimes months. everyone has the same black telephone.

    There is almost NOTHING government does better and cheaper than private enterprise.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    A Deputy is whatever the PM wants him or her to be. It seems to work best when Party management and Government management is in the hands of the Leader. You cannot run a Government from a subordinate position.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘There is almost NOTHING government does better and cheaper than private enterprise.’

    On both sides of the Keysnian socialist house

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. OneTrack (2,754 comments) says:

    “There is almost NOTHING government does better and cheaper than private enterprise.”

    Except provide well paid jobs for some idealogues who would be virtually unemployable in the private sector.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    Back in the ‘good old days’ it was illegal for private bus companies to travel a route faster than the train to protect the state owned railways. Catching a bus from Hastings to Wellington required a stop at Palmy North of about an hour to ensure the journey wasn’t completed quicker than the train between Hastings & Wellington.

    The list of interventions to protect state monopolies goes on and on…. The scare thing is today’s lefties just go all glassy eyed when you tell them the reality of their failed ideology – somebody told them state monopolies are best and they don’t have the mental capacity to understand the reality or question the failed ideology they have been indoctrinated into.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Palmer is responsible for the weak social laws that have totally ruined this country . . . he also ruined the liquor industry, taxi industry, milk, etc. with his left-wing theory that everyone should have a crack of the whip, not just those that had the money to buy in . . . most had worked their gutses out to buy in Palmer, you ruined them. The Labour Party is, and always will be, run by failed academics, deviants, bludgers, and leeches.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    igm

    Well said….

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. OneTrack (2,754 comments) says:

    wiki – “Almost happening currently.”

    Exactly my point. Some of these businesses are just hanging on and it wont take too many brain farts from the likes of Cunliffe and Turei and they will be gone – either offshore if the government loads too many costs or compliance issues on them, or retire because they have had enough. Whatever reason, anybody they are employng will be on the dole queue.

    It seems to be an ongoing issue with the left, they cant seem to logically think through the consequences of their actions. And while I am on a rant, the same applies to stupid swinging voters who are saying they will vote against National of some xyz policy – usually asset sales. They seem to think everything will stay exactly the same, but without asset sales. When asked if they have looked at the policies of the parties, the answer always seem to be no. These are the same people we will see moaning by mid-2015, after they have lost their job, that “I didnt think they would do that” or “why is petrol so expensive, wah, wah”.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. srylands (390 comments) says:

    “There should be a living wage increase and a 12-18 month price freeze across the board so the economy can rebound by the uplifted and confident consumer who maybe even able to save.”

    If I thought you were sane and rationale I would remind you of the role of prices in allocating resources. There is a supply side. What are people going to consume if businesses shut up shop? Can you please point to a single example in history where a country has been made more prosperous by legislating for a nominal across the board wage increase followed by an economy wide price freeze? (i.e stopping markets). One example? No, didn’t think so.

    I used to think people like you were winding us up – like the two regular commentators at the Standard who (and I am not making this up) argue that the entire cost of the Christchurch rebuild should be met by issuing new currency.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    “Prime Minister David Lange was the main culprit. He canned the newly elected government’s notorious economic package of December 1987, a dramatic lurch to the Right based on a flat income tax and sweeping privatisation.

    Lange’s unilateral decision was something “that you can’t do”, Sir Geoffrey says. “And that’s why it all fell apart.””

    And what did the great constitutional scholar who had warned against the supposed abuses of unbridled power during the Muldoon administration actually DO when he was on the inside of Cabinet, subject to the capricious, arbitrary, and unconstitutional abuse of Prime Ministerial power?

    Raise the issue for debate Cabinet?

    Call a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister who was running amok?

    Go to the Governor-General and tell him the Government was hopelessly divided, and had lost the capacity to perform its duty, so they should be dismissed, and a new Government formed, or an election called?!

    Nope, none of the above.

    Palmer then dithered for the next 18 months, while the country suffered at the hands of a divided Cabinet, until Lange shuffled off the stage of his own volition.

    Geoffrey Palmer – not only our worse PM in living memory, but a legal and academic fraud.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Read Michael Bassets ” Working with David”.

    Lange wasn’t fit to run a PTA meeting.

    Imagine what our economy would be like if Lange had had balls and let Douglas implement his flat 20% tax. 25 years on we would be charging, less dependant on government for everything.

    Roger Douglas was the best thing to ever happen to NZ politics. He should go down as one of the great New Zealanders.

    Lange was the equal of Walter Nash as a PM i.e fucking hopeless, daylight after these two.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. rouppe (932 comments) says:

    The word loyal doesn’t appear anywhere in the article. Why are you commenting on it in such an incredulous fashion David?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Gulag1917 (765 comments) says:

    Farmers have boomed since Rogernomics. In the old days they could take it easy relying on subsidies, initially the value of farmland dropped 50 per cent and farmers did go out of business. There has been a revolution in farming since 1984 technology and management wise. The price of clothing has dropped 50% since 1984. New Zealand would be backward now if it had not had a change in economic thinking.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. alwyn (397 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael @ 11.32am

    You would have to delete Bill Rowling from your candidate list of people who were good deputies but poor Prime Ministers.
    He was never the deputy-PM. Kirks deputy was Hugh Watt, not Rowling. I had a lot of time for Watt actually. He didn’t have a conceited opinion of his own position. I was once on a flight to Europe that he was also travelling on. He was, although deputy PM, travelling in economy and not first class.

    On your criteria it therefore leaves Geoff at No 1 on the list.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    People older than me ( 53) please add to the list of outrageous controls that were the norm in New Zealand prior to Douglas>

    1. Transport companies were limited to how many miles they could cart freight before they had to put it on another company or rail.

    2. Massive farm subsidies.

    3.The Listener the only tome that could publish the TV guide.

    it goes on and on

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    @ Pauleastbay

    I’m younger than you, but I am old enough to remember

    4. restrictions on what day you could drive

    5. how much money you could take overseas

    6. the availability of electronic goods (it used to be embarrassing the amount of stuff Kiwis would bring back on flights from Singapore!).

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. nasska (10,834 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    4) Controls on foreign exchange (remember holidays in Aus when you had to restrict your beer intake).

    5) Waiting three months for a telephone connection (unless you were on nodding terms with your local MP)

    6) Flat rate of GST replacing about twenty different levels of sales tax.

    There will be more.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    Actually, further to my missive about Palmer’s unctuous and pious ineptitude, anyone who was so politically naive and foolish to lend their name to the hypocritical and sanctimonious “Citizens for Rowling” campaign of 1975 deserved to be excluded from political office for life!

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. greenjacket (429 comments) says:

    Palmer’s recollections ring true. Basically, Lange was a very clever man without a spine. An example was the anti-nuclear ships issue. The Yanks thought they had found a way out by sending an obviously non-nuclear ship (BUCHANAN) and telling Lange behind the scenes that it was non-nuclear. Lange had agreed with the Yanks. Then, when Helen Clark put pressure on him, he folded, and went back on his word with the Yanks. And to avoid facing the Yanks (who were absolutely furious at being stiffed), Lange took himself off to a Pacific Island for a week and refused to be contacted!
    Whether you are for or against the anti-nuclear policy, the way that Lange did it was utterly cowardly.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘Whether you are for or against the anti-nuclear policy, the way that Lange did it was utterly cowardly.’

    1985 French bombers included

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ’5. how much money you could take overseas’

    Still only a small amount of cash can be taken across the border I believe

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    @ wikiriwhis business

    Sorry, to clarify – actual liquid funds, not just solid cash

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Wheat prices were controlled as were flour and bread prices. Bread was subsidized and wasted in huge quantities.
    Bakers were allocated flour from anyone of about 50 flour mills who were forced to take wheat allocated from farmers. They were mostly small production mills and they just ground wheat (wheat that was often not even fit for stock food.),to flour which was bought by the Wheat board regardless of quality and then allocated to the bakers. Almost nil quality testing was done (one sample per week with the results often arriving after the flour was used.)

    The result was that bakers and biscuit makers who needed flour with different characteristics were stuck with flour that didn’t meet their needs.

    It took lots of testing and arguing to get the Nats to free up a system they started during their freindly period during the war when they were in Govt with Labour.

    Interestingly the Wheat Board was a construct mostly of farmers and Nat supporters and its purpose was to make NZ self sufficient in wheat. An outcome achieved from memory on twice in its many years of existence.

    In the later years of its existence it was run by Fred Binns, father of the Mark Binns that now runs one of the power companies and used to run part of Fletchers.

    Quite the bureaucrat he was.

    Brian Talboys was the person who finally ditched that awful system.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    7) the size of house you were allowed to build.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ’7) the size of house you were allowed to build.’

    Now resource consents are invaluable revenue earners for councils

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. greenjacket (429 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay:

    7) Wage, price and interest rate freezes (which led to the emergence of a thriving black economy)

    8) Cars had to be built in NZ to protect the local factories. So Japanese built and assembled cars were disassembled in Japan, shipped over the NZ in pieces, and then reassembled in NZ.

    9) Printing money – annual inflation at 20-30%.

    10) Fiscal drag, an ridiculous steep income tax, and massive tax evasion.

    11) State control of the main export sectors – the Dairy Board, the Meat Board – the government determined how much would be sold where and for what price. One reason why Ladas become so common on NZ roads.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Road Transport was limited to 40 miles. Couldn’t even cart bread from Hutt Valley to Paraparaumu without a special license and the transport companies couldn’t transport from Tauranga to Auckland or even Rotorua with special license. Imagine that today. what a fuck up it was then but with today’s volumes it would be a disaster.

    Freight from the South Island to Tauranga would take up to two weeks and inevitably some would be missing or would be covered in all sorts of extraneous crap including chemicals or fertilizers.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘Road Transport was limited to 40 miles.’

    surely you are talking pre war

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘actual liquid funds, not just solid cash’

    How much cash are you allowed to take across the border ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Remember Muldoon’s wage and price freeze. and his equally stupid MRP . Setting the Maximum Retail Price.

    Of course we can Blame bloody Palmer for the weak and useless Bill Of Rights and everything that followed.

    And then roads were also an issue. If the Nats wanted to keep or win a seat they would pump money into the local roads.

    which is why Tauranga never got any money. Safe as seats because most were retired farmers. That of course changed when they pissed Winston off. Don’t care what you fella’s think he was good for Tauranga even managing to screw Clark to get her to pay for our second bridge which we will be forever thankful for.

    Unfortunately these seats still need some competition

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. greenjacket (429 comments) says:

    12) National industrial awards. How much a person could be paid was determined by annual negotiations in the Beehive between the unions, industry associations and a Cabinet Minister. As a result, wage rounds were determined to a great extent by keeping marginal electorates happy, and the system was hilariously inflexible (for example, the only way a worker could be paid more was by strict seniority rather than skill or ability. No-one could be sacked, so pilfering was rife and customer service non-existent.

    I find it depressing that the Labour Party policy is to return to National Awards.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Remember when Tauranga Port wanted a container crane. Not allowed as their was a Ports Authority who determined where these things were going to be allowed.
    So our smart locals did a whip round of locals and many of us lent the company some dollars and they went and bought a multi purpose crane with a bucket for wheat and a cradle for timber.. That soon was transformed and remains at the port albeit on the other wharf as a container crane.
    A wharf which now has six cranes and handles the most container traffic in NZ.

    Mindless stupidity from the controllers.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    wiki surely you are talking pre war

    No, Taneatua had a railhead, so truck to there train to Auckland via fuck knows where, off at Auckland by Transport to a depot and off loaded then reloaded onto a company that was allowed to go onto the wharf and off loaded by the wharfies who would steal 1/2 it and the rest onto the ship. And that well into my life time

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business (2,212) Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    ‘Road Transport was limited to 40 miles.’

    surely you are talking pre war
    ====================
    No, this existed right up to at least 1975-6 from memory. Maybe even later.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Memory not so bad. 1977 was when it was ditched. Good history here.

    Road transport regulation a controversial measure to protect railways
    Preventing trucks from competing with railways, introduced in the 1930s, are interpreted today as a means of protecting the New Zealand Government’s investment in railways.

    The United-Reform Government introduced a form of licensing in 1931. It was extended in 1936 by a Labour Government to include restrictions on how far trucks could travel in competition with railways.

    But as the western world grappled with the impact of the Great Depression, politicians of the time – in New Zealand and in other countries – were concerned to avoid a costly duplication of transport infrastructure.

    Railways had been the great nation-builder in many developed countries. In New Zealand, rail passenger journeys reached a peace-time peak between 1921 and 1924.

    World War I had greatly improved motor vehicles. Trucks were making inroads on freight movement – particularly in New Zealand because of its comparatively low traffic volumes and scattered population.

    Rail freight revenue, which had been steadily increasing up to 1929–30, started to decline.

    New Zealand History Online records that between 1925 and 1930 the number of private motor cars more than doubled, from 71,000 to 155,000. With one car for every nine people, New Zealand had one of the highest car-ownership rates in the world.

    The situation was the same around the world. Politicians scratched their heads and wondered what to do. Many of them – New Zealand included – opted for commissions of enquiry.

    In December 1927 the President of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Charles Bowden wrote in the New Zealand Railways magazine, “It must be apparent to all that the problem of co-ordination or competition of rail and road services is one of the most difficult problems of our day.

    “I consider the cost of distribution in New Zealand to be probably the highest factor in our cost of living budget; certainly it is one of the most important. The length and configuration of the country are admittedly a contributory cause, but the fact remains and is worth inquiry.”

    Coincidentally, the Prime Minister of the day, Gordon Coates, announced a commission of enquiry on the day the magazine was published.

    “It seems plain that enormous development may be expected in the use of commercial motor vehicles,” he said. “It is felt by the committee that the proper time to institute the investigation of this branch of the subject is while motor traffic is still in its infancy.” Coates promised “no drastic steps”, but he did deliver an indication of what was to follow. “There may be needless duplication and overlapping of roads and railway all eventuating in huge cost while insufficient figures are available to decide whether or not a road would economically serve all requirements and save the taxpayer the cost of a railway line and its operation,” he said.

    The result was a form of regional transport licensing and freight concessions to encourage use of rail. Then, in 1936, the Labour Transport Minister Bob Semple introduced legislation which preventing trucks from carrying loads more than 30 miles (48km) and restricting new trucking operators to those that could prove a need for their services.

    Restrictions weren’t confined just to freight. Bus companies also had to be licensed, and their vehicles, timetables and fares approved, by the Government.

    Subsequently, the Railways Department expanded its Road Services Branch into one of the country’s largest bus operators. Road transport could still carry passengers and goods over and above the legal restrictions, but to do so, they had to gain approval from quasi-magisterial Transport Licensing Authorities.

    As the century advanced, restrictions were gradually relaxed. The trucking restriction was extended to 40 miles in 1961 and again to 150 kilometres in 1977.

    It was a time when the economic prosperity of the post-war period was beginning to recede. Britain’s determination to join the European union and lower wool prices threatened a dark cloud over the good times the country had enjoyed. By 1967 the export price for wool had fallen 30 percent, pushing up unemployment and inflation.

    In 1969 a National Development Conference was convened which in turn created a number of sector committees. The Transport Committee recommended an examination of transport modes carrying traffic best suited to them without any regulatory intervention. In 1971, the Government commissioned United States consultancy firm Wilbur Smith & Associates to look at Railways.

    Wilbur Smith said something like $40 million a year could be saved with better coordination of transport and it recommended the de-licensing of the road transport industry – with some safeguards in the form of a fee to be paid by road transport operators moving goods more than 64 kilometres.

    The consultants considered that transport efficiency and the quality of service were more important than the financial welfare of Government-owned businesses. However, they also considered that Railways should receive compensation for providing socially desirable services that could not operate commercially.

    “This study recommends that shippers be given maximum choice between modes, and that, to as great an extent as possible, an efficient allocation of traffic should be effected through pricing,” they said.

    “This will involve setting rail rates according to rail’s marginal resource costs and taxing road traffic which is competitive with rail to recover the marginal resource costs of road transport, including social costs.”

    Wilbur Smith noted that rail was most suited to long-distance and bulk commodity transport and recommended it be protected against a sudden reduction in traffic. It also recommended that road transport meet the “resource costs” incurred and social costs such as accidents, pollution and the loss of utility caused by heavy vehicles.

    Railways countered by saying the system proposed by Wilbur Smith would lead to wasteful duplication of services and result in an expansion of road transport at the expense of rail.

    In the intervening months, Labour had won the 1972 election and inherited the Wilbur Smith report. It’s response was an October 1974 Green Paper, A new Direction for New Zealand Transport.

    The Green Paper was largely sympathetic to the Wilbur Smith view of what needed to change. It endorsed the principle that users should be able to choose their transport mode and recommended the formation of a Railways Corporation.

    But Labour had also inherited a freeze on freight charges and passenger fares, imposed in 1971. In the mid-1970s, annual deficits began to increase.

    At the same time, freight being carried was expanding beyond railways capacity. Operation Freightroll was a joint venture between the Railways and the Road Transport Association which chartered road transport operators regionally to help rail on line-haul work.

    In 1975, the Government changed again. The National Party also endorsed the view that people moving goods should have the choice of the most efficient and economic mode.

    The 1977 abolition of the old 40-mile limit, allowing road transport to compete with rail over a new limit of 150 kilometres, created competition on key routes like Auckland-Hamilton, Hamilton-Tauranga, Wellington-Palmerston North and Christchurch-Ashburton. The Railways response was to highlight it’s “rock and a hard place” position. The General Manager of the time, Trevor Hayward, released the first of a series of booklets entitled Time for Change which took the Railways case to the public.

    But rather than arguing against road transport deregulation, he explained the challenge Railways faced providing loss-making public services.

    He foresaw a future for Railways based on expanding commercial services, continuing services that provided a social benefit – but in a transparent fashion and cutting those services that couldn’t be justified.

    In December 1980 Railway Minister Colin McLachlan seemed to be “singing from the same hymn sheet”. He issued a media release indicating that Railway Corporation would be formed and Government would retain the 150 km limit as the basis for competition between road and rail.

    “Fuel use alone dictates that the longer-haul freight should be carried by rail. At the same time, the cost of road upkeep continues to climb so that the present level of road user charges is not sufficient to maintain the standard required”.

    But pressure to deregulate was mounting. An example was food company Watties which wanted to use road transport rather than rail to get their canned goods to the Auckland market.

    The company claimed only half the goods sent by rail from Hawke’s Bay reached Auckland within the desired two-day period. The Transport Licensing Authority refused an application to use road transport. Watties and transport company Freightways went to court and won.

    In 1982, the Ministry of Transport released a discussion paper which mooted deregulation of the transport industry, reducing freight costs by $37 million a year.

    Trevor Hayward, suggested the paper should: “go the way of all the Secretary of Transport’s previous papers on the subject – into the wastepaper basket”.

    But Railways objections were dismissed and the road transport distance restriction was abolished completely in 1983. The impact gradually became apparent. Trucks had carried almost 50 percent of land transport freight in 1972. By 1993, this had risen to 81 percent.
    The international consultancy firm, Booze Allen Hamilton, subsequently engaged by Railways to make recommendations on improving the business’s efficiency, estimated deregulation would cost rail 15 percent of rail volumes and up to 25 percent of revenue.
    The estimates of volume loss were subsequently proved to be accurate but revenue loss was less dramatic. Deregulation was however to lead to dramatic change in the staffing, organisation and in the fullness of time, ownership of Railways.

    Sources: New Zealand Railways, the First 125 Years, David Leitch and Bob Stott, 1988; New Zealand History Online. New Zealand Railways Magazine, Electronic Text Collection

    http://www.150yearsrail.org.nz/

    sorry for the length. Google remembers shit you don’t believe.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    @ wikiriwhis business

    “How much cash are you allowed to take across the border ?”

    Now or then?

    And actual cash, or transferring funds overseas?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘How much cash are you allowed to take across the border ?”

    Now or then? ‘

    Cash allowed across the border now

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “How much cash are you allowed to take across the border ?”

    From memory it was only a few thousand dollars.

    You had to apply to the government to take more out, and that I think was mainly to do with you ‘leaving NZ for good’ for your average kiwi back then.

    Now it is unlimited – it just has to be declared. Or in other words you can invest all your money into the Japanese Yen by buying it online.

    Kimbo#

    Is that Kimbo from the Herald – and Stuff about 3 yrs ago? FM is asking.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. simpleton1 (157 comments) says:

    Any mechanical garage had to carry heaps of spare parts which are a costly way to do business.
    I recall the ordering and getting spare parts were days away if not a week leading to expensive down time, just due to the inter locking transport depot changes though to be fair many of the trucking companies did their best.

    Now it can be just the next day arrival and work completed that day, so barely cluttering up a workshop.

    You dare not put it on the rail way system as who knows when it would arrive and in what condition.
    Wool bales were prone to arriving soaking wet, though I believe a sort of compulsory insurance system charge sort ( an extra cost) reimbursed the farmer like the “broken window fallacy”

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. alwyn (397 comments) says:

    @ wikiriwhis, 2.59pm
    There is no limit at all on taking cash, or bearer-negotiable instruments, in or out of New Zealand.
    You must however declare any case where the equivalent, in any currency, of more that $NZ10,000 is being carried.
    Bring in, or out, a million US dollars and it’s legal as long as it is declared. You might get a fairly long interview with Customs of course.
    Ref NZ Customs fact sheet 13.
    I see Harriet got in while I was typing this.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    @ Harriet

    “Kimbo#

    Is that Kimbo from the Herald – and Stuff about 3 yrs ago? FM is asking.”

    Prepare to repulse opposition on the left flank, Field Marshal! In fact, terminate with extreme prejudice!

    Why the change of name? On a covert military operation? Whoops – sorry, have I just blown your cover?! Trust a dumb civilian like me to stuff things up.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. simpleton1 (157 comments) says:

    I can recall when I cashed up my good pay checks from US$ in LA airport to NZ$, as I rightly figured, that I would get a good exchange rate there, compared to in NZ.

    When I went to pay duty on some goods I had declared, they noticed the small roll of notes and then the Customs went “ape sh^* ” on me wanting to see all my money and initially accused me illegally taking the money out of NZ, and did not want to believe that another country/bank would want to sell me the worthless NZ currency.

    What a threatening performance but I stuck to my guns as no way was I going to let them confiscate it or to pay a fine, as I compared them to dealing with Mexican bureaucracy.

    I think the real issue was taking the money out of NZ, not bringing it back in, but then they would have to prove that I took it out of NZ.

    An interesting aside was how the bank teller in LA figured roughly how long I had the US$ and where I had it stashed, related to my work.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Ah Kimbo my old friend.

    I changed my name when I first commented here on the Gay Marriage debate – and then found out I couldn’t change it to anything else!

    I ‘fessed up and are often called Harry-it now……or religious transvestite conservonutter ect

    The war I’m currently fighting is the Conservatives vs the Progs. Us conservatives are winning of course: The progs want the conservatives to shut up while us conservatives want the progs to keep talking – they never stop, totalitarians as they are.

    Colin Craig is a shoe in. Put your house on it.

    I presume the sports management industry is ok. Cheers Kimbo. PS, I’m still living in QLD.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    wiki: Every time you comment here you make an arse of yourself… the “40 mile limit” (actually IIRC it was 50 miles) had NOTHING to do with the mechanical capability of the trucks back then… it was device to protect the railways…so to avoid double handling, any shipment that had to travel more than 50 miles had to go by rail…

    You are not only a leftie idiot, but obviously from your lack of knowledge of our recent history a YOUNG leftie idiot, which is even worse..

    PEB: you don’t include the Muldoonist doozy of them all: the wage and price freeze designed to “cement in” low inflation. when it finally came off..WHAM, the real world hit…Intrerest rates of 20% plus…inflation of 19% p.a.

    I find it very significant that if you talk to farmers old enough to remember the “subsidy days”, none of them are in favour of a return to that artificial market…and there is no doubt at all that the removal of all that crap hit farmers very hard…but people often forget Roger removed the subsidies on manufacturers too, and lots of them went to the wall as a result.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Komata (1,139 comments) says:

    As ‘one who was there at the time’ and actively-involved from the railway’s side, an adennum to the matter of the iniquitous 40 mile-’Road Transport limit’ might be of interest.

    In early 1974, for a variety of reasons, the NZ Govt. decreed (note that word, carefully), that the NZ Govt. Railways Dept. had to give trucking companies (road transport operators) operating into the main centres (ie, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin) back-loads so that the ‘roadies’ trucks weren’t returning empty to their depots of origin.

    What this meant (for example) that a truck arriving in Auckland from New Plymouth, without a return load due to the trucking co.’s inability to arrange a return load, was then authorised to merely call in to the nearest railway station and fill-up its tray with goods bound for New Plymouth and toddle off back home. The railways of course lost loads and revenue and, because they were operating under Ministerial Directive, just had to sit and do nothing, handing-over valuable cargo to the trucks.

    The trucks were NOT to be charged for the ‘privilege’ of removing their competitors (railway’s) cargo!!!! For the trucks it was an absolute gift, and they made the most of it.

    The road transport industry had got itself into this position by managing to gain the Minister’s ear and by wailing that it was unfair that the railways were taking trade from them by having the temerity to have organised loads to and from their (railways) goods yards and stations.

    That the truckies had not had the forethought to arrange back-loads was of course immaterial.

    As a result the railways were forced to give up a substantial part of their goods traffic to the road trucks. This mania lasted for several months, and created some chaotic situations as the truck drivers, inexperienced in the art of handling bulk goods, yet being ‘entitled’ to do so, found that they could not handle the trade. They firmly believed that they were ‘entitled’ to such loads and were not averse to pointing-out this to railways staff. A case, perhaps, of rubbing one’s nose in excrement. Understandably this did not exactly create situations where ‘terms of endearment’ were exchanged. However, because the Minister had decreed it should be so, railways gave them the cargoes that would have been sent to location X, but the trucks found that the standard railways cargo-weight of 21-tons cargoes were heavier than their trucks could cope with. while there were frequently NO cargoes to be back-loaded because that particular town did not have a wagon scheduled to be sent to it on date X. This was not something that the trucks were aware of; they had believed that wagons went EVERY day and were ALWAYS full. They had not heard that wagons were held-over until they were fully-loaded.

    The industry’s leaders then told the Minister that, by so-doing (giving them railway’s standard loads) , railways was playing ‘unfair’ , and so railways were forced to give the trucks smaller loads. Effectively, the trucks eventually got the lightweight perishable trade, with the railways being left for all the other ‘stuff’ that the trucks couldn’t handle.

    However, not satisfied with this, the trucks representatives then informed the Minister that, because they (the trucks) had proven that they were so-much more ‘efficient’ in moving cargo than the railways, (even though they had been GIVEN back-loads by rail, their ‘enemy’) they should have a far greater share of the available cargo. To make them more ‘competitive’ with the ‘government protected’ railways, the 40-mile limit had to be removed; all the interest of fair trade and the creation of a ‘level playing field’.

    The Minister (Prebble?) , rather than making a detailed investigation into the whole matter, but sensing the voting potential accepted everything he was told at face value, repealed the 40-mile limit legislation, and voila, the truckies were in. To ‘help’ them (and catch votes) the trucks were subsequently actively encouraged to compete against the railways, and, just to help, the railways were ordered to raise their goods charges to be above those of the trucks; ‘all in the interests of competition’ of course.

    It was a very effective PR campaign by the road transport industry and decimated the railways.

    Oh, and BTW, the same Minister also ORDERED the railways to ‘make a loss’ to ‘prove’ that the Department was inefficient and incapable of making money. That in fact the Railways Department was actually in a ‘break-even’ financial-situation and legally could not make a profit under prevailing statutes was, of course irrelevant and something which was not commented-upon. The Minister was of course aware of this, but chose to ignore it due to political expediency.

    As a ‘vote catcher’ allegations of railways gross-inefficiencies were always sure to succeed, and served to reinforce popular and long-held urban myths

    No doubt a ‘grateful’ road transport forum was generous with its donations…..

    It was along time ago, but the consequences are still with us.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    …but back to the Lange/Palmer government and the Rainbow Warrior agents.

    I believe the decision to let the bastards go, supposedly to serve out their sentences on Hao atoll in French Polynesia, was the worst foreign policy decision ever made by a New Zealand government – ever. What we did by doing that was establish a precedent under which anyone with enough power and/or influence can buy someone out of a New Zealand jail. That is exactly what the French did, paying us $15 million or some bullshit sum as “compensation” for what was effectively an invasion of our country, or at the very least, a commando type raid on it.

    My dislike and contempt for Professor Sir Geoffrey stems from that time, and a discussion I had with him (I was a constituent of his in Christchurch Central at the time) when it became obvious that they were planning to release the agents. At that meeting he was a supercilious condescending prick…which I later learned was how he was to his students when he taught law at Vic prior to entering politics.

    Someone earlier said he was instrumental in setting up the premlinaries of the RMA… Quite wrong…he WROTE the bloody thing… And it was so badly drafted they had to pass an amending law the following year that was twice as long as the original Act….

    All of that said, his statements about the challenges posed by dealing with Lange very closely mirror what Roger Douglas told me about that time….and unlike whoever it was above, I very much doubt Palmer has supported National since he left active politics.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Paul Marsden (989 comments) says:

    13) And perhaps the most bizzare controls of all, was the attempt by the Govt to control/protect the airline industry, which necessiated the publishing and gazetting weekly, EVERY airline and their fares, to EVERY destination in the world. It was riveting reading – NOT. The mind boggles at how much that insanity must have cost the taxpayer!

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    wiki

    If you can find it online somewhere – watch the Labour Party campaign video from 2011. It shows Labour making great strides in social policy and nasty National government again and again dolling out harsh medicine and spending cuts. What it shows if you apply some brain cells too it rather than nob and feel union proud is that Labour socialist policy works brilliantly for a few years then ends in ruin… Over and over….

    Yet there are still people stupid enough to just see Labour spending other peoples money on being popular and think its a well constructed ideology – it’s a fraud… Grow up… You can’t ride on somebody else’s back and expect them to run at full pace forever.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    14) Rail fares were set a few dollars below the airline fares – not based on the some form of railway operational cost recovery formula. Basically the state owned airline could charge what it wanted with zero competition and the state owed railway charged just enough less with bus transport forced to take longer more inconvenient journeys than trains.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    All these insane sales tax, monopoly pricing and the like were done under the banner of the state having our best interests at heart… It’s saddening that the reality of state provision is faint enough that a whole new generation of socialist dreamers don’t even know how fatally flawed their ideology really is.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. Monique Angel (258 comments) says:

    Lange, Clark and Palmer collaborated to rob my generation of wealth.It seems the Chardonnay Socialist meme stemmed from tthe actions of that perennial bullshit artist Geoffrey Palmer.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. heathcote (101 comments) says:

    As a banker through the 1970s and beyond, I can tell you the nonsense we had to go through to get RBNZ approval for travellers, particularly business travellers, for foreign currency above the meagre daily limits that then applied. It was just such a waste of time. There is no doubt in my mind that Douglas transformed the NZ economy in a way that was well overdue, and he had vision way beyond other politicians at the time. For that he is (today) much maligned, and quite unjustifiably. One of the features of NZ is our inability to understand the freedoms and benefits his policies brought us.

    Wiki is the perfect example of someone who has no idea of our history, and spouts unbelievable and inconsistent nonsense. Perhaps he enjoys seeing his name here. Her certainly doesn’t contribute anything worthwhile to the subject.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Kimbo (698 comments) says:

    “Wiki is the perfect example of someone who has no idea of our history, and spouts unbelievable and inconsistent nonsense”.

    Don’t blame Wiki. S/He is young and impressionable, and simply repeating the talking points of David Cunliffe

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. thedavincimode (6,582 comments) says:

    wiki – re Mouldy/Douglas

    You were either under 12 in this era and ignorant, just plain stupid, or you went to the redblatter school of political history (equivalent to being just stupid).

    Which is it?

    It was a Labour government that actually stopped Muldoon from taking this country from going down the toilet. (Of course, successive Labour governments have been trying to take it back down there.) That said, we were lucky that Lange (all piss and wind but amusing all the same) ate the pies while Douglas sorted the job out.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. thedavincimode (6,582 comments) says:

    Labour’s Palmer, a pompous tosser and chameleonic politician attempting to rewrite history

    Game set and match there Manolo.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. heathcote (101 comments) says:

    So Monique, would you care to explain how ‘my generation’ was robbed of wealth. What exactly is your generation? And how does this robbery fall at the feet of Palmer et al?

    Economic policies since the mid eighties have been instrumental in improving the wealth of all NZers. If you haven’t participated in this, then perhaps you should consider your own circumstances and how you could or should have done better. For example, lower interest rates (since 2008), low inflation and investment in real assets (property, equities) have done more to improve the lot of NZers in recent years than any other single thing. There has been no inter-generational robbery. That is the stuff of poorly thought out conspiracy theorists.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    (Of course, successive Labour governments have been trying to take it back down there.)

    National is too.

    By prolonging any change that is required only cements into another generation’s eyes what ‘normal’ is.

    Most young people today think that ‘parental choice’ for education is not ‘normal’.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. thedavincimode (6,582 comments) says:

    Monique

    Just pay back your student loan and then start looking in the mirror if you want to attribute blame to your perceived lack of economic success.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Inflation -and due somewhat to increasing taxes- is always higher under a Labour government. Inflation does rob people of their wealth. I’d agree with monique.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Viking2 (3.01pm); the MRP scheme was actually the brainchild of Warren ‘MRP’ Freer, a Minister in the Kirk government and Helen Clark’s predecessor in the Mt. Albert electorate. Muldoon was guilty of many sins, but on that one he stands wrongly accused. I can still remember those ugly MRP shields on everything on the supermarket shelves.

    And speaking of supermarkets, who can remember when certain items had to be curtained off on the weekend because they could only be sold on weekdays?

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    Lets be honest, a Far Right precis of the Fourth Labour Government is hardly going to be accurate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    I’m working out the lefties, it’s all about the unions. If you don’t support the unions ( IE: be bought by the funding they provide which is extracted from low paid workers ) then you are far right. The actual nature of your policies is irrelevant… It’s all about the failed notion of solidarity – the glory of fighting the man.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  83. KevinH (1,142 comments) says:

    Lange was to coin a phrase, a larger than life figure, a big man who saw the world as a stage to perform on. Lange came from a humble background, the son of a doctor who practised medicine in Otahuhu Auckland, David Lange was educated in a working class environment that had strong connections to the idealism of Labour.
    Lange was a Lawyer, and struggled with the concepts of finance, he simply did not understand the reforms that Roger Douglas embarked upon, and as a champion of the people, could not reconcile the need to deconstruct the all embracing state that suffocated the New Zealand economy. The mass layoff’s particularly in Rail disturbed Lange, these were his constituents in South Auckland who were feeling the brunt of Douglas’s reforms and Lange felt that he was betraying them, his working class Labour people.
    Following the collapse of Muldoon’s tenure as Prime Minister, Douglas was desperate to reform the economy as quickly as he could, and with the assistance of Richard Prebble set a cracking pace that Lange couldn’t cope with. Lange became disillusioned and was frequently absent from meetings or just plain not interested. Palmer became an intermediary between Douglas and Lange as well as acting as the conscience of the Labour party which also struggled with the reforms.
    The transition from a State controlled economy to a more open economy was a bitter pill for the Labour movement to swallow and many within Labour’s ranks rebelled, Douglas resigned and the public lost confidence in Lange and Labour that inevitably led to Lange’s resignation and the collapse of the Labour Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  84. Fossil (8 comments) says:

    Palmer blames Lange for the troubles that plagued the government after Douglas tried to impose a flat tax – but it wasn’t Lange who ignored Labour policy in the 87 election, or planted leaks in the newspapers about the sweeping reforms he was planning, long before the cabinet ever saw them, or kept back Treasury papers that told cabinet that the flat tax scheme wasn’t workable, or threw a tantrum and came running back to New Zealand when Lange told a press conference that the government might not be able to go ahead with the flat tax. Douglas was the real sickness inside the Labour government. Instead of backing his prime minister, Palmer tried to force him into compromise with a minister who was actively undermining the government and belonged on the far right of politics. If Palmer hadn’t been so naïve and self-important he might have had some understanding of what was actually happening. Obviously he’s learned nothing since.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  85. hj (6,608 comments) says:

    Linda Reid (373) Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    People under 45 may not remember what it like in NZ before the 1984 Labour government opened everything up.
    ………………………
    You knew who a New Zealander was (it was you) and the leadership could be trusted to maintain the stautus quo (New Zealand is yours). Now we have Harcourts Shanghai, mass migration can’t be stopped; weasels in power.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  86. Bad__Cat (139 comments) says:

    15. No private radio or TV stations
    16. Ministry of Works could only hire “licenced” truck owners.
    17. Farmers with overseas funds could import a new car, use it for a year, and the sell it for more than the original cost.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  87. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    You knew who a New Zealander was (it was you) and the leadership could be trusted to maintain the stautus quo (New Zealand is yours). Now we have Harcourts Shanghai, mass migration can’t be stopped; weasels in power.

    hj

    The saddest, bitterest, most uninformed post I have ever read on KiwiBlog. You’ve shown signs of being an ennormous tool in the past, but you have surpassed yourself

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.