I often find people characterising Rogernomics and the neoliberal economics of the late 1980s and early 1990s as ‘privatisation’; that is, the sale of state owned enterprises (SOEs) to the private sector.
Yet, there may be better candidates to symbolise the policies of the time, including:
- the opening up New Zealand to the world economy by the removal of border and related protections and subsidies;
- commercialisation; that is changing the way that the economy and the state sector were managed by giving priority to business principles;
- the light-handed regulation of business which has led to sizeable inefficiencies. The cost of ‘leaky buildings’ may be as high as $47b alone and people have died.
- the attempted ‘Americanization’ of the public health system driven by ideological stupidity and again resulting in deaths and unnecessary health discomfort;
- the tax and benefit cuts which sharply increased inequality.