Story: Reserve Bank

Muldoon announces a wage and prize freeze, 1982

In the mid-1970s oil crises, rising inflation, balance-of-payments difficulties, erratic economic growth and the end of full employment contributed to a new period of instability in the New Zealand economy. After the second oil shock, Prime Minister Robert Muldoon introduced a wage and prize freeze in 1982 in an attempt to control inflation. In so doing he went against the advice of Reserve Bank and Treasury officials. Many economists believed that the freeze would suppress rather than eliminate inflation and would lead to economic inefficiencies. The freeze was also unpopular with businesspeople, who were accustomed to passing on price increases to consumers, and workers, who expected pay rises. It was ended by the new Labour government in 1984.

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How to cite this page:

John Singleton, 'Reserve Bank - Reserve Bank, 1936 to 1984', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/33455/muldoon-announces-a-wage-and-prize-freeze-1982 (accessed 6 December 2019)

Story by John Singleton, published 20 Jun 2012