Watch it here:
“The story of unemployment in New Zealand” and In A Land of Plenty is an exploration of just that; it takes as its starting point the consensus from The Depression onwards that Godzone economic policy should focus on achieving full employment, and explores how this was radically shifted by the 1984 Labour government. Director Alister Barry’s perspective is clear, as he trains a humanist lens on ‘Rogernomics’ to argue for the policy’s negative effects on society, “as a new poverty-stricken underclass developed”.
Interesting documentary, I barely remember the Robert Muldoon government, as I was too young to understand politics at the time, or much of market forces and fiscal policy. However, the government of the 70s and early 80s appears far more beneficial to New Zealand society, than all the successive governments since.
Particularly, the protections offered by the Muldoon Government, such as guaranteed employment, subsidised work places and protecting the home markets from cheap, foreign based products. All these worked for the betterment of New Zealand Society. People were employed. New Zealand businesses didn’t have to compete with cheaper foreign products. People probably didn’t realise how good they had it, and even today, these policies make sense – unless you are one of the corporates that think themselves islands unto themselves.
The introduction of David Lange and his cohorts in the 80s removed many of these protections, and has caused pain and hardship to New Zealand as a whole. Gone is the wonderland that was New Zealand of the last generation. The unchecked greed of big business, the banks and weasel politicians have turned the country into in a wonderland only for the wealthy. Everyone else must fend for themselves with rising unemployment, rising house prices, unchecked foreign investment and imports. New Zealand is in trouble. This documentary charts where it began.