Monday, 4 April 2011

Ah, the good old days

McDonald's entered New Zealand prior to the liberalisation of the 1980s.

For those who pine for Muldoon-era controls and think Roger Douglas some kind of devil for having broken the old system, here's one snippet courtesy of the National Business Review: how McDonald's imported the kitchen for its first restaurant:
By then McDonald’s was already a major corporation and imposing its strict protocols and standards – contained in a hefty manual – on laid-back Kiwis was no small challenge. Nor was New Zealand’s economic environment, with tight regulations, compulsory unionism and licensed protectionism against anything from overseas, such as a McDonald’s kitchen, furniture, soda fountain or uniforms.

Cheese swap deal

Importation of the kitchen was permitted for a year but Wally Morris ordered it be cemented into the floor, preventing its removal. He later got around the restriction by arranging a deal through cabinet minister Lance Adams-Schneider whereby a stock of unsold Dairy Board cheese in Germany was bought by McDonald’s in the US, clearing the way for two more kitchens to be imported.
The wonderful things that happen under currency and capital controls.

1 comment:

  1. Makes you wonder why people still pine for those days, when a Japanese TV was built in Japan, disassembled, sent to NZ and then reassembled. Wonder why they costed so much?

    However, the more things change the more they stay the same.
    I worry about our capacity to solely provide temporary accommodation and rebuild permanent accommodation without at least some overseas inputs.