The Clyde hydroelectric dam on the Clutha River, built in the early 1980s, was a major part of the Muldoon government's 'think big' programme. 'Think big', the last major expansion of state activity prior to the creation of state-owned enterprises in 1986, had a particularly strong focus on the energy sector. It was intended to insulate New Zealand's economy from high oil prices, and was prompted by the 'oil shocks' (abrupt rises in price) of the 1970s.
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