Think tax is boring? It is the front line of the battle for the future of New Zealand, says political economist Brian Roper. He talks to Bruce Munro about research revealing the war he says big business is waging against ordinary Kiwis.
Robert Muldoon telephoned David Lange when it was clear he had lost the general election.
''Congratulations, Mr Lange. I've got some bad news for you tomorrow'', the defeated prime minister said, hanging up before Mr Lange could reply.
It was the evening of Saturday, July 14, 1984. New Zealand was standing on the edge of a precipice.
The economic boom years of the 1950s and 1960s were long gone.
A tightly regulated economy was failing to thrive.
Militant trade unionists were at loggerheads with intractable employers.
A wage and price freeze had been in place for two years in an attempt to tackle high rates of inflation and unemployment.
The country was on the verge of defaulting on its overseas debts.