Policy Paper No 19: The Quest for Security and Welfare in New Zealand
This paper, largely written in the mid-1950s, appraises the implications of the policies followed by the first Labour Government from 1935 to 1949 and the National Government that succeeded it between 1949 and 1957. They were fortunate that, through most of the period, favourable market conditions prevailed, especially in Britain, for New Zealand’s major pastoral exports. This provided a good basis for the expansion of the volume of goods and services available for a rapidly growing population. The emphasis of policy was on full employment, – it was an era of considerable shortage of labour – on redistribution through monetary benefits, free education and health services and state housing, and on a regulated stabilisation policy aiming at “fair shares” among producers. The paper discusses the implementation of these policies and their effects on the rate and pattern of growth and on the capacity of the New Zealand economy to develop in the less favourable external environment that was emerging.
Published in 2004
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