Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: It was 30 years ago today

47 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • Richard Aston,

    George warned us about 1984 but perhaps Aldous Huxely's Brave New World was closer to the truth.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Was in 4th Form. Biology teacher had asked class on the Friday who we would vote for, everyone said Labour. Monday's biology class had brief discussion about the outcome. I remember everyone feeling excited about the Labour win.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    Enormous changes to society were kicked off that day. One of my most eye-opening political experiences was when the Deputy Principal announced to the Onehunga High School assembly that David Lange had resigned (so that would be 8 August 1989). To my surprise, most of the students cheered loudly at the news. This in what had for generations been a safe Labour seat.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ethan Tucker,

    Yeh, but school pupils generally are anti-establishment whenever this is an option (regardless of the establishment's political hue).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Dastardly Bounder,

    1984 - Kraftwerk released Tour de France and Run DMC released their debut album. It was a year for change.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2012 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was passing through Auckland, it was the day before I left on my OE when Marylin Waring crossed the floor, sometime as I was traveling through the Pacific Muldoon called the election and by the time I reached LA there was an election on - I went out of my way to arrange a vote in the soon to be closed SF consulate , it was my last vote for 20 years, and completely useless (a Labour vote in Otago, then the most right wing electorate in the country, meant nothing in an FPP world).

    After years of marching in the streets , (and on the harbours) , against Muldoon and his cronies, and in particular after the Tour, it was disappointing not to see Muldoon get his comeuppance.

    I missed out on the following decade or so of turmoil, the NZ I returned to 20 years later was a very different place.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    Economically and culturally, Muldoon's quest was to preserve the world of his wartime post depression generation and in that sense his views on economic management and sporting relations with South Africa were closely linked. For most of them it was a very benign world compared with what they had lived through from the 1930s onwards. His quest did not succeed in either case. The world was gradually becoming a more liberal place and authoritarian economic and cultural policies became impossible to sustain, especially in a tiny country that has to trade to survive at or near a standard of living to which the inhabitants aspire.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    I remember switching from Values to Labour and the elation when Labour got in, there was a different feeling around than when Kirk got in in 72, something else was in the air . Lange was different and kinda cool and was bringing new people in with him. Lots of hope. Tragic how we all got fooled later down the track.

    I remember the speculation was that it was Bob Jones' NZ Party that triggered the change by splitting the conservative vote.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker, in reply to linger,

    Yeh, but school pupils generally are anti-establishment whenever this is an option (regardless of the establishment's political hue).

    Good point, although I doubt the same could be said today?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to linger,

    Yeh, but school pupils generally are anti-establishment whenever this is an option (regardless of the establishment's political hue).

    Even Grammar boys & Dio girls? Not so sure about that.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Petyt,

    I was only 11 in 1984 but I remember the '81 tour and the general feeling of excitement at the election.
    The thing that really stays with me is the memory of my late stepfather declaring that he'd break the habit of a lifetime and vote so that he could tell people he'd 'voted Muldoon out'. I think not voting had been some kind of principled position but it was one he was willing to break to see Muldoon gone.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It took me a while to figure out where I was during that voting day. It’s because I didn’t vote, because I was a few mouths to young. I do however, remember sailing out to great barrier with one on my buddies, and discussing the election outcome. I remember that discussion vividly. I was on the helm, with Birdshit island, of the bottom end of Waiheke, about a mile astern of us.

    Two years latter, I was hearing story’s about farmers committing suicide.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    I remember it, and I was only 8. The full page picture of the new Labour members was proudly pinned up in the loo, and gradually defaced as time went on...

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    It was thirty years ago today,
    David Lange sent Piggy away.

    (where's Ian Dalziel when you need him?)

    I'm the same age as Ana. My memories of a political nature all start with David Lange and the 4th Labour Government. I suppose I have that to thank Lange for.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    Ironically, the Lange Govt was against the Keynesian tendencies of the Muldoon regime and soon become the poster child for economic liberalization. Now, NZ is leading the charge for a global monetarist system where current account deficits are a mere annoyance and where MMT is the new religion (for every astronomical private debt is an asset and where government spending ends up in the hands of the private sector). With a floating exchange rate and carry trade speculation (where the banks can hedge their bets and not lose), NZ is the "rock star" of the global economy and living within your means actually translates as "well at least we're not as bad as Europe, the U.S. or Japan."

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I was 8 too. We were on holiday in the UK when the election happened, and I remember my parents -- Labour/Values types from way back who hated Muldoon with a burning passion -- making a special trip into NZ House in London to cast their votes. And so inadvertently helping to usher in the mass public sector retrenchment that would see them both restructured out of jobs by the end of Labour's second term.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I was 12, getting ready for high school, which couldn't come soon enough. It was clear even to a kid that it was pretty momentous to have got rid of Muldoon. The rejoicing was near universal. I went to Selwyn College (despite living in Herne Bay) the next year, a school known for its liberality and strong arts culture, and was surprised to find that the nations population, even down to the schoolchildren, were not universal in their support for Labour.

    In a very odd microcosmic way, that school symbolized to me a very real political shift in progress. A very large group of kids who lived near me had unaccountably chosen this particular school and we commuted 150 strong via multiple buses from Richard Prebble's electorate, through the heart of the wealthiest suburbs of NZ to a school in Muldoon's electorate. By the time that commute was over, Herne Bay was the number one suburb, Remmers had been toppled, and Prebble was doing his years in the wilderness before gravitating to ACT, and Muldoon was dead, and I was facing being the lucky first year to pay for it's entire tertiary education by borrowing money for it, courtesy of the guy who in 1984 was quizzing my friends on his TV game show.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Petyt,

    I was facing being the lucky first year to pay for it’s entire tertiary education by borrowing money for it, courtesy of the guy who in 1984 was quizzing my friends on his TV game show.

    Some minor quibbles.
    Labour introduced the $1250 fee, Lockwood made it so the universities would have to charge it instead.
    I started in '91 but couldn't get a loan until '92 when they were introduced.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I just remembered pre-that-election, when I lived near Marsden point. I heard a story from one of the think big project workers. He told me how one of the boilermakers once welded a large pipe into the refinery, for no particular reason.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I special voted from Australia where I was on the start of my OE. The 80s in Auckland were a great time for me, weird but great. I was getting my first real jobs after uni and flouncing around town. It would have been really interesting to see what became of the successive Labour governments if the sharemarket hadn’t crashed in ’87. Lange made one feel proud to be a NZer and it was a pity to see it all disintegrate after Douglas and Preb tried to go hard right. Odd to think about even now. As I ponder my decision for this election, I fear for what my children will be facing in 30 years time. I stronly suspect that environmental and societal breakdown may occur faster than most suspect, especially in the US of A, and heaven knows if we are capable of dragging ourselves out of that mess.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Josh Petyt,

    Some minor quibbles

    Yup, although loans were heralded before being introduced, and banks jumped in well before. I was offered a tuition fee loan in 1990. It was a hit, the line into the bank's sign-up booth was as long as many of the other orientation queues were in those days.

    My point is that it was a decade in which the whole way that we seemed to see things changed dramatically, when a marked wealth and power shift happened.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    I was twenty two. I'd just finished my BA at the University of Canterbury. Bacon slicers, anyone? For me as a gay man, Lange also heralded long-delayed freedom and the passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act, long overdue. That's one of the more positive legacies of that period. If only Douglas, Prebble ad nauseum hadn't imposed Rogernomics as its economic strategy...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 571 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    I stronly suspect that environmental and societal breakdown may occur faster than most suspect, especially in the US of A, and heaven knows if we are capable of dragging ourselves out of that mess.

    Nick Hanauer, who made his billions investing in Amazon and selling to Microsoft, knows the writing is on the wall. And he's calling his fellow billionaires - "plutocrats" in his words - out on it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    I'm 60 and remember how Piggy and National pulled every lever to divide the country and stay in power. Rob's Mob - if you weren't for us you must be against us. I see similarities in the current lot's strategy with #Teamkey

    Towards the end, his Cabinet and party wouldn't stand up to him as he drove this country into bankruptcy, and I will never forgive National for that. Funnily enough though, I always felt economically secure with Muldoon but all that disappeared after '84. Maybe that was the reason NZ became bankrupt.

    I view 84-87 Labour as a necessary period of adjustment out of national bankruptcy and loved Lange's rhetoric at the time. But the 88-90 period was a time of intra-party fighting when the Douglas/Prebble zealots tried to take over. They left to find their rightful place in Act and Labour tried to return to its social democratic roots.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to John Morrison,

    Towards the end, his Cabinet and party wouldn't stand up to him as he drove this country into bankruptcy, and I will never forgive National for that.

    Important point that when Labour won in 1984, the NZ economy was on the brink of collapse. After the mad excesses of Think Big, some austerity was inevitable.

    I remember Muldoon appearing on TV, interrupting the regular programme, to announce the Wage and Price Freeze of 1982-4. A desperate action to control rampant inflation, but Muldoon had the air of a reproving schoolmaster. As I remember it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.