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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




In the future the fifties may be regarded as a watershed decade between two New Zealands: a period of pause and consolidation as far as outward events are concerned, but a decade marked by the beginning of major readjustments under the surface of prosperity. Certainly, there has been continuity and prosperity through the rise and fall of governments, even if, at the outset, it seemed that something new had happened with the election of 1949. Under the surface, however, the fifties have experienced a renewed uncertainty, comparable in temper if not in social effects, to the fluidity of the 1920s. In 1957–58 it became abundantly clear that the roots of prosperity were shallowly set, that a country depending upon a few customers buying a few commodities and paying scarcity prices was uncomfortably vulnerable. Industrialisation, the redirection of rural industry, a major shift in marketing policy – these are among the remedies which have been suggested for this age-old but newly rediscovered insecurity. In the future it may be possible to detect their initial application in this decade.