30 years of Rogernomics

Apparently today is the 30th anniversary of Rogernomics.

Stuff: Towns full of weeping women: Rogernomics, 30 years later

It was 30 years ago today. Former Cabinet minister Michael Bassett would go on to describe the anticipation, the nervous excitement, in his book Working with David: Inside the Lange Cabinet: “During the last days of March 1987 ministers held on to their hats, hoping that the first day of the SOEs wouldn’t result in too many April Fool’s Day jokes.”

April 1 was a Wednesday. Did it turn out to be funny? Not really. As Bassett writes, within a week of the radical conversion of government departments into State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), 4732 people had taken voluntary redundancy and another 100 went for early retirement. That is close to 5000 redundancies in one week, largely in small town and rural New Zealand.

Then-deputy prime minister Geoffrey Palmer predicted it would be the biggest change in New Zealand public sector history. He was right. It came as a kind of blitzkrieg. Then-finance minister Roger Douglas argued that it had to happen quickly. Bassett: “Speed was enormously important to managing change. As [then-minister of labour, state services and State Owned Enterprises] Stan Rodger would observe years later, sometimes there were so many rabbits loose in the field that opponents of change weren’t sure which to try to shoot.”

“In all, 19,133 departmental workers in Lands and Survey, Forestry, the Electricity Division, Civil Aviation, State Coal and the Government Accommodation Board were affected by the changes,” Bassett wrote.

Act fast and keep them guessing. In the 1980s, this was called Rogernomics rather t

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12 Comments

  1. Sadly, 30 years is a lifetime for many …
    They don’t know any different, they think its ‘normal’ …

    “Say cheerio … to community that cares …
    If you want to have a stake in this
    You’ll have to buy the shares …

    Bid your last … felt so good … felt like plenty …
    Now the width’ll be a good deal thinner and … forget the quality …

    I have to say farewell, oh did I grow up just for this?
    For me its been God’s Own country …
    Now for you … its hit and miss …

    Say farewell … No point making demands …
    Remember we’re in God’s Own country
    Except we’ve … Forgotten … God’s … Commands …

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  1st April 2017

    the beginning …of the…end.Trickle down…..Trav yesterday…when NZ gets more billionaires..everyone..will benefit!

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st April 2017

    Ah, the nostalgia for the Muldoon reign of terror. So sweet to behold in you, PZ and B.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  1st April 2017

      those were the days eh Al…the days of the Values party…who did I see recently who said that was there starting point before they became Green….you did a complete 360 and became a right wing terrorist.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  1st April 2017

        Nah, I’m not right wing, B. Just a classic liberal as I’ve often told you. Muldoon was an enemy of economic and social freedom, so right up your alley and totally opposed to mine.

        Reply
  4. Ray

     /  1st April 2017

    Yes those poor miners wife’s sobbing.
    After all the tax payers were subsidising them with $122000.
    Not sure what today’s Greens would do about that but I can guess.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  1st April 2017

      too funny Ray…do you remember the sheep and lamb ‘subsidies’..the sheep population increased by millions(more diligent mustering)and warehouses were rented to store lamb and mutton…no one wanted!

      Reply
  5. “Say farewell to the way of life we knew …
    User Pays … and still pay your taxes too …

    Say “Good as Gold” to a way of life now lost …
    Some of you’ll be counting money while the rest will count the cost …”

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st April 2017

      Come on, PZ. A few verses of The Red Flag now surely?

      Reply
  6. Farmers Mug & Thug are shooting a BNZ television commercial in the early 1990s … sitting on a haybale …

    MUG: … borrowed some money from the BNZ bloke in town, Scott Harvey. You know Scott? (Thug shakes his head “No”). Broke in the whole 500 acres with his bare hands he did. Had it perfectly level, just like a playing field …

    THUG: Know this fella did ya?

    MUG: Nah. Never met the man. Married his widow but …

    VIRGINIA (Director): That’s a wrap … (but the Farmers continue and Rob [Camera] keeps filming) …

    THUG: So breaking in the land killed him did it?

    MUG: No, orh no, not the land, no. They took off all the subsidies. All the price controls, and all the investment moved to the cities because the bloody RoundTable got the Labour government in. Well, rural land prices slumped. Crashed they did!

    THUG: I was there mate … bastards!

    MUG: Course the bloody bank knew it was gonna happen, and so, when they came to put that old sign up, you know …

    THUG: I know that sign all too well mate.

    MUG: Well, he just couldn’t take it … Hung himself he did … (brief pause) …

    THUG: Had one of those signs myself ’til very recently Mug …

    MUG: Really?

    THUG: On the back of the truck it was.

    MUG: Getaway! Where’s that old sign now Thug?

    THUG: Just a coupla minutes ago Mug, I nailed that sign up on your fence!

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  1st April 2017

      farmers suicide rate is a topic..verboten…the MSM have been given..the word.

      Reply

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