Imagining New Zealand’s Economy in the Mid-Twentieth Century
Mid-twentieth-century British commentaries on New Zealand were usually positive, focusing on the industrial peace and general high living standards that New Zealanders enjoyed—all conceived as to some extent the opposite of the British experience. Many explanations of New Zealand’s apparent success focused on its fortune in terms of natural resources and its distance from political instability. Other, more sceptical, voices did however argue that New Zealand was a dependent economy reliant on the UK, and that its economy would find it difficult to deal with the removal of British patronage. This chapter explores the oscillating balance between these two interpretations, and examines some of the deeper intellectual reasons behind their adoption by different writers and policy-makers, throughout the post-Second World War era.