DISASTERS AND MISHAPS – FINANCIAL
New Zealand has been fortunate in that its financial frauds and disasters have been few. Many investors have suffered from over-optimism, gullibility, or plain bad luck, but on most occasions such losses have not been widespread. As early as 1868 the troubles of two life insurance companies in England, the Albert and the European, caused the Government to take steps to prevent such happenings in New Zealand. The result was the establishment of the New Zealand Government Life Insurance Office in 1869.
On three occasions businesses have failed under conditions sufficiently bad to merit the description of disastrous. They were the failure of the Colonial Bank, the Macarthur Investment Trust, and the Standard Insurance Co. crash.