New Zealand 1993

By | December 1, 2021

The 1970s were something of a crossroads in New Zealand history, for at least two reasons. The first is represented by the progressive insertion of the British economy into the EEC, which has caused the Commonwealth countries to lose part of the preferential treatment reserved for them: New Zealand has suffered as a result of exports of meat and wool even if, in the medium and long term, it could benefit from positive prospects, precisely because the economic policy of the EEC opens up very interesting commercial channels for the Pacific countries; The intensification of maritime transport between the area of ​​Australia and New Zealand on the one hand, and Western Europe on the other, is eloquent testimony to this. The second reason is related to the increase in the price of oil. For New Zealand business, please check

Due to that unusual convergence of difficulties, New Zealand was hit by significant inflation and a high unemployment rate, which forced many to emigrate to Australia. The government dealt with the situation by adopting two measures: it borrowed abroad and created a deficit in the state budget, with the aim of channeling investments into industry. At the same time, he tried to keep price and wage levels under control. In the early part of the 1980s, social hostility towards politics grew to the point of leading to a change of government and an unprecedented turn in the liberal sense. Quickly all restrictions on free enterprise were removed.

In the same decade, foreign policy also changed. Both the United Kingdom and the United States reduced their influence on the NZ, whose isolation in the international context increased. The country faced this situation by trying to strengthen relations with neighboring states, in the context of the southwestern Pacific chessboard. He developed actions against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region and against nuclear tests in the atmosphere. Finally, it banned US nuclear-powered ships from its ports.

In the Eighties there was also the spread of acute social problems: divorces increased, the percentages of illegitimate children and single women rose, bringing the problem of the condition of women to the fore. At the same time there were signs of intolerance towards the presence of the Maori in urban environments. The emergence of racial problems was evident in 1990, when the 150th anniversary of the Waitanghi treaty between the Maori and the colonizers was celebrated in the Bay of Islands. Only the presence of the Queen of England prevented the protests from leading the celebrations to failure.

The New Zealand company has an unemployment rate of 15% and a low inflation rate of 1%; the share of the cost of social services for citizens is very high; industrial restructuring projects are underway; the Bank of New Zealand was taken over by the National Bank of Australia. Tensions between whites and Maori, largely caused by conflicts over fishing stocks, were settled through an agreement.

The trade balance is in surplus. Half of exports continue to be made up of livestock products, while finished products account for 23%, chemicals account for 9% and mining products for 7%. A quarter of imports are made up of mineral and chemical products, as well as plastics; another quarter from plant and machinery; 14% from capital goods for transport; the rest relates to various types of goods.

The transformations of the economy have led to a continuous reduction of the active population in the primary sector (agriculture, livestock, forests, fishing): from 11%, which was in the first part of the 1980s, it has risen to 9.4% (1992). It is a double percentage of that of Australia, but in any case reduced if placed in relation to the national economic base, based above all on livestock, fishing and crops. At the same time, the industrial workforce increased slightly: from 23.5% to 24.8%. The workforce assigned to services is almost stationary.

The population – 3,481,000 residents in 1992; 12.9 residents / km 2 – continues to have a moderate positive natural balance (9.9ı, against the world average of 17.2ı), which will lead to 3.8 million residents at the end of the decade and 4.1 million in 2010. The doubling of the residents is expected within seventy years. The ethnic composition evolves very slowly. In the early 1990s the population included: New Zealanders of European descent (73.8%), New Zealand Maori (9.6%), Polynesians (3.6%), multi-ethnic populations (4.5%) and minor groups.

The urban population constitutes 75.9% of the total and is increasing. Despite this, the urban structure favors the maintenance of high levels of quality of life. This is mainly due to the lack of large cities. On the North Island, Auckland has 885,571 residents. and Wellington, the country’s capital, 325,682; on the South Island, Christchurch has 307,179 residents. From this point of view, it can be considered that the New Zealand urban organization has reached a now defined structure. At the base, a dense fabric of medium and small cities has been consolidated, well distributed on the North Island and on the eastern slopes of the South Island, for the most part located on the coast. Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, Christchurch on the South Island have taken on regional capital functions.

During the 1980s, the expansion of air traffic and international tourism resulted in more tourist inflows than experts had predicted. Consequently, for the NZ, very rich in landscape resources both in the North Island and in the South Island, considerable prospects are opening up – like what is happening in Australia – both for tourist flows from the Pacific area. (United States and Japan), and for those from Europe. Already about 1 million tourists a year visit the country. An eloquent sign of this is the expansion of traffic in the three airports (Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington), which is now close to 10 billion passengers / km. Of course, these huge developments bring urgent environmental protection needs to the fore.

The network of ports, an essential tool for relations with foreign countries, has also achieved a good set-up. At the end of the Second World War, the country enjoyed four ports – Auckland and Wellington (North Island), Lyttelton and Dunedin (South Island) – which accounted for 80% of traffic. Subsequently, the port of Whangarei (North Island) was added, mainly used for oil imports. In the meantime, the road network was being strengthened. At the end of the 1960s, following a decentralization policy of industrial activities, port decentralization strategies were also implemented. Small ports have been upgraded, such as Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier (all on the North Island) and Bluff (South Island).

The average per capita income of NZ (US $ 12,350), although significantly lower than that of Australia (US $ 17,050), is very respectable. Furthermore, the NZ has an excellent social assistance system and a high level of living conditions: this is demonstrated by the life expectancy, attested at 72 years for men and 78 years for women, similar to the Italian one.

New Zealand 1993