Who are the New Right?

E d u c a t i o n   o n   t h e   a g e n d a   o f   t h e   N e w   R i g h t   i n   N e w   Z e a l a n d.

This is an extract from a short paper on the ideology that has changed New Zealanders' lives
Know the New Right. by Hugh Price

    The very words we use are changing their meaning: we are told that New Zealand Post is much more efficient than the old Post Office ever was - but Post Offices are now fewer and post boxes are scarce, and daily home deliveries are threatened, so that the word "efficiency" must have changed its meaning. Further Bill Birch harps on about growth and efficiency, while the overseas debt swells to over $70 billion (and growing); and unemployment sticks above 150,000 - surely the ultimate in inefficiency!
    Reform is another word that has been hijacked - it has lost central meaning of change for the better, and been pressed into service to describe all the right-wing shifts - including some with deplorable social consequences. Liberal is another word that has been captured and put through the mincer.
    Government trading Departments have become more State Owned Enterprises, in which senior managers pay themselves ever higher salaries (fifteen Electricorp executives are each paid more than the Prime Minister!): indeed we learn that these managers need bigger salaries, plus achievement bonuses, cars, and other elements of employment "packages", as an incentive to perform better; while wage earners struggle to hold their own - it seems that the whip of poverty is need to get the best out of them. This is called "the carrot and the stick" law: those at the top perform better if you pay them less!
    How could it possibly happen that the commissioner chosen by Labour's Sir Roger Douglas to map the future of the public health service was Alan Gibbs, a wealthy right wing businessman/politician who has said publicly that he does not think that there should be a public health service at all? - On Morning Report he told us that his Gibbs Report on health service restructuring is a half way house to abolishing Public Hospitals and public health services altogether.
    Why all this and much more?
    It is because both the Labour Party and the National Party are now right wing political parties, both driven by the ideology of the New Right. The New Right has enveloped both. The only parliamentary oppositions come from the handful of MPs in the Alliance and from Winston Peters' New Zealand First.
In fact, New Zealand now suffers a New Right government that is more extreme that any other in the world. In Thatcher's Britain and Reagan's US, New Right ideas were recognized as an extremist fringe, while in New Zealand they have captured Treasury (and the Reserve Bank) and other power centres that are close to the Business Roundtable (where members are chiefly overseas-owned corporations). From them New Zealand suffers the full force of a machine that David Lange calls the New Right Juggernaut.
Who are the New Right?
The distinguished American economist J.K Galbraith is absolutely against New Right policies such as monetarism and Friedmanism.
The plain fact is that New Right is imposing an agenda on New Zealand that has nothing to do with the need for a balanced economy or the wishes of the New Zealand citizens; but has everything to do with the imposition of a narrow preconceived set of right wing ideas, that are held as a matter of faith. In other words, the Government is driven by ideology, and not by pragmatism and common sense.
    Put another way, these "revolutionaries of the right" are in the mould of the medieval schoolmen, as they work tirelessly to impose a new orthodoxy on an unconvinced population.
    At the very centre of this most un-New Zealand is a society that unites New Rightists all over the world. It is a select club that can be joined only by invitation; the Mont Pelerin Society.  The name sounds innocent enough - like a ski club or a gathering of wine tasters, but is in fact a powerful and influential international assembly that includes Roger Kerr, formerly a senior Treasury official, and now director of the Business Roundtable.......

About the Author
Hugh Price was born in Wellington in 1929. He graduated MA (History) in 1953 and then worked for various London book publishers,including Victor Gollancz, Penguin and Methuen. For five years he was the manager of Sydney University Press - and in 1968 returned to Wellington to manage Price Milburn, book. publishers.
   His wife Beverley, is an author; and his daughter, Susan, is a historian.

Know the New Right  (revised) fourth edition was published 1996 when the 'reforms' were at their height. The position of some of the players may have changed in the ensuing years, but the this short paper is still very much up to date as the New Right (Mont Pelerin Society) ideology has not changed.


The New Right gained power in 1984 with a little help from their friends and again in 1990 when most New Zealanders thought the 'reforms' were over and done with, it seemed like nothing had changed. State asset sales, privatisation, workers rights being trampled on, highest youth suicide rate in the world, the gap between rich and poor growing wider by the day.

Who are they?  How come the 'Left' and 'Right' Governments had the same destructive policies.

Who is the 'Hidden Face' of the New Right in 2011 and are they poised to make a comeback after the general election? When and if National / Act win and claim to have been given a mandate to 'sell our publicly owned assets'.

The New Right "Reforms"
   In 1984 one of the most radical social experiments of the Twentieth Century was inflicted upon ordinary New Zealanders.
    Beginning when the Labour Party took power and continuing under the National Government in 1990, the most radical "free market reforms" in the world were applied to almost every aspect of life in our country.
   The reforms are modelled upon, but much more radical than those Margaret Thatcher introduced into Britain. Thus, such groups as the World Trade Organisation, the OECD, and the IMF and World Bank, in near-orgasmic cries of delight, have proclaimed New Zealand to be "the most free country in the world."

   The reports of  New Zealand's economic success are all lies. The only "freedom" in the country at that time, was that enjoyed by financiers and speculators to loot the stored-up wealth created by generations of New Zealanders past.

Youth Suicide
   During this time Youth Suicide skyrocketed, "New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the Western world; since 1985, the rate at which its youth are killing themselves has doubled." (State of the World's Children Report, UNICEF 1993)   See Graph

   The living standard of the average New Zealander, as measured in per household market basket consumption of physical goods, fell rapidly.  By 1996, one in every six New Zealanders were living under the poverty line, in a country where poverty had been generally unheard of (at least among New Zealanders of European descent), before 1994.

   Unemployment and part-time employment (under 20 hours a week) soared to 32%, this in a country where unemployment was almost nonexistent before 1984!

Foreign Debt
   New Zealand's foreign debt rocketed from $16.359 billion at the start of the reforms, to over $74 billion by 1996; A bit of a sick joke, as cutting down the debt was the proclaimed chief motivation for carrying out the reforms in the first place. John Key is already saying selling assets to lessen debt - sound familiar?

Business collapses
   New Zealand businesses collapsed at the fastest rate in our country's history, victims of the unprecedented speculative bubble which sucked the life-blood out of productive industries and farms.

Decimation of the Health Sector
But the impact of the free-market "reforms" has been the most dramatic in the health sector. Under that sector's partial "privatisation," public hospitals closed, hospital beds per capita have been slashed, and hundreds of this country's most senior nurses were sacked or forced into retirement or other jobs.
The cutbacks were so savage that as of 1997 there were over 94.000 New Zealanders languishing on official waiting lists for operations and some 100,000 more who need them are not even allowed on the lists! These health care "reforms" have succeeded in killing our fellow New Zealanders. As the victorious allies hung Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg ~ that they "knew or should have known" that their policies were responsible for mass murder, so the New Right must know that their policies were responsible for what was taking place in New Zealand.

More New Right policies from the 1990s that continue to adversely affect New Zealanders

Police cuts
Increasingly, our police struggle to do their number one job of fighting crime. New Right policies saw police numbers "cut by 540 and funding cut back when National last in office" Hon George Hawkins 8/2/2005.
The amalgamation of our police with traffic officers at the same time, gave the impression of more police, but the end result was any motor vehicle accident would further lessen the police ability to be where they were needed for crime fighting.
It has been suggested in some quarters that racial tension and fear of crime is a tool used by the New Right to keep the peoples minds on other things while their agenda is put in place.
In December 2009 the Police Commisioner Howard Broad announced that new specialist traffic officers will be used to issue speeding tickets as he was "quite uncomfortable"with fully sworn police being used for road policing, as they were often just "sitting there with their radar gun". NZ Herald 10-12-09
This may be a move in the right direction, but until the sworn police numbers are increased to the point they can respond quickly to an emergency and fight crime effectively, it could be seen as just freeing police from the stigma associated with "revenue collecting".
Until the merger, the public had greater respect for the police as the only dealings they had with them was as victims of crime.

"Leaky building" crisis,
The New Right inspired deregulation of the building industry certification process has caused heartbreak and financial loss for many New Zealand families who once again are the victims of governments putting ideology before people.
A "perfect storm"of deregulated labour markets, the downgrading of apprenticeships, monolithic cladding techniques and unsuitable new building designs all contributed to the construction of an estimated 80,000 leaky homes.
There was growing evidence of links between damp and mouldy homes and the development of respiratory symptoms..... Professor Howden-chapman, Otago University.
This crisis may have  been averted  if the National Government of the time had made insurance compulsory so that the homeowner got a guaranteed 10 year cover for any failure of the certifying process. Home owners futures destroyed and no accountability for the Government.
New Right Puppets
   When the New Zealand public finally realised the damage being caused by the New Right (Mont Pelerin policies) they overwhelmingly voted the Labour Government out of office in 1990 expecting the incoming National Government to bring things back to normal, especially as they had campaigned against the policies that Labours' finance minister Roger Douglas had brought in during their term.  However, New Zealander's were to learn a huge lesson the hard way.
   Things were not about to change, in fact when Ruth Richardson took over as finance minister, the New Right (Mont Pelerin) revolution escalated and the "Labour Market Reforms" were rammed through. The infamous Employments Contracts Act of 1991 became the New Right weapon to destroy employee's collective bargaining strength and lower the incomes of New Zealand families.
Why Australians have higher wages
   It was during this time (1984 to 1999) under successive governments that the Australian wages increased by 61% over the New Zealand workers wages. Since 1999 when the New Right policies were put to rest, the difference has been only 1% in wage growth. But the damage has already been done and if we allow another New Right (Mont Pelerin) puppet government in again our families will suffer further.

 How Come Nothing Changed
   How could it be that a Labour (Left) Government is thrown out and replaced by a National (Right) Government and yet the slash and burn policies stay the same, What the average New Zealander never realised was that there was no such thing as "Rogernomics" or "Ruthanasia" just as there was no "Thatcherism,"  these are simply the names given to the New Right (Mont Pelerin) policies being rammed through by successive finance ministers and other puppets, almost as if to divorce the policies from their original common source.

  Roger and Ruth, more in common than just finance
   National's Ruth Richardson's New Right  policies were exactly the same as Labour's Roger Douglas' New Right policies because they were policies driven by the Mont Pelerin Society.  It should have been no surprise, in 1989 a Mont pelerin front group the Centre for Independent Studies organised a conference in Christchurch to review progress of deregulation and privatisation of New Zealand. The keynote speaker was Roger Douglas and he was warmly supported by Ruth Richardson: so there they were together, Labour's Roger and National's Ruth united in their New Right faith.
   Roger Douglas was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, as was Roger Kerr of the Business Roundtable. However Ruth Richardson was not, as late as 1996 in the words of Lord Harris, longtime head of the Mont Pelerin's main think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. "But Ruth Richardson isn't a member, but she used to come over here and extract ideas and so forth" This has all changed, when she was replaced as finance minister by Bill Birch, Ruth Richardson left National and joined the ACT party which had been started by Roger Douglas, She became, not only a Mont Pelerin Member, but a director of that society.
   The ACT party is at this time, trying to convince New Zealanders to vote for them and get Roger Douglas back into Parliament, preferably as finance minister in a National/ ACT coalition government. The New Right NEVER GIVE UP!
Back in the 2005 New Zealand General election, the leader of the National Party was the former Reserve Bank governor, Don Brash who had been introduced to politics by Roger Kerr of the Business Roundtable. Don Brash was looked on as a rather honest if naive politician but was ousted when leaked emails showed he had dealings with a group of Exclusive Brethren Millionaires who were waging a campaign against the Greens even though he denied he had. In a speech in London in 1996, Don Brash said "I was involved with Roger Douglas from the beginning of the reforms …and they were never completed.  The New Right NEVER GIVE UP! Who have they chosen THIS TIME?
  The average New Zealander can't possibly know who the next New Right puppet will be, but one thing they can be sure of, is that that person will be saying anything, offering everything to ensure they get elected and once the New Right get into power, it will be 1984 all over again. 

No more "Left" versus "Right"
National's Ruth Richardson's New Right policies were exactly the same as Labour's Roger Douglas' New Right policies because they were given to them by the Business Roundtable who in turn had received them from the Mont Pelerin Society, a London based group of the very rich who have descended from the land owning nobles who had peasants farming their lands while they lived the high life, and they kept the peasants in their place by ensuring they never had the means to improve their lot. Unfortunately for them, the industrial revolution gave these peasants the chance to improve their lot, which took a huge amount of power from the ruling class.  The aim of this society is to destroy the middle class (or the middle income earner) and bring back the two-class society. The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer is no myth, it is by design and it is happening!

Keep the New Right out of power
   The New Right have lost their grip on New Zealand since the Election of the fourth Labour Government in 1999, but they have never given up, why would they? They have too much to gain. Out of $15.322 billion worth of privatised former New Zealand state assets, companies connected with the Mont Pelerin Society's main New Zealand front, the Business Roundtable, bought an astounding $12.542 billion, or about 82% of the total. No wonder they are fervent believers in Mont Pelerin's "free market" which has so handsomely lined their pockets, while destroying the nation
The MMP voting system has made it harder for single political parties to have an overwhelming majority and this has made it harder for the New Right to implement their agenda.
Watch out for new moves to re-introduce 'First past the post' voting again.   

    Who Is The Mont Pelerin Society ?
 This looting and destruction of the nation-state of New Zealand was planned and implemented by the London-based Mont Pelerin Society.

   In 1947, Mont Pelerin  founder von Hayek lamented that the war had drastically strengthened nation-states, which must be replaced, he said, with the classic, anti-state free trade "liberalism" of eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain.

   Many of those continental Europeans present, like von Hayek, carried the prefix "von" before their surnames, signifying that they came from the noble families which had governed Europe for centuries.

   Mont Pelerin shared the same "conservative revolution" philosophy as the Nazis. It also shared some of the same personnel. For instance, Max von Thurn und Taxis was a sponsor of von Hayek and his new society. Thurn und Taxis' family had founded another society in southern Germany before World War 1, which was composed entirely of aristocrats, known as the Thule Society. Thule in turn formed a special "workers division" known as the "National Socialist German Workers Party" (NSDAP). The NSDAP, into which an Austrian corporal named Adolf Hitler was recruited, later became better known by the abbreviated version of its name, the "Nazis." In 1989, Max von Thurn und Taxis attended a meeting of his Mont Pelerin Society in Christchurch, New Zealand, to judge, first hand, the results of the "worlds most radical free market revolution."

Reprinted from  New Citizen

The New Zealand Party
  By 1983-1984, the free-market gang had their "reform" blueprints drawn up, as well as their designated "shadow Finance Minister", Douglas, all ready to go. All they needed was to get rid of Muldoon. Enter Bob Jones. Jones was a big-time property speculator.   His property speculation hampered by Muldoon's controls on the economy, Jones formed the New Zealand Party to dump Muldoon. The party called for: the legalization of dope; the elimination of much of New Zealand's defence budget and radical free market reforms. Key figures in the New Zealand Party were Josephine Grierson, a Briton and an Oxford Graduate in Free market economics and Prof. Ewen Mcann of Canterbury University, one of the country's leading free market ideologues.
  Jones' party drew much of it's 12.3% of the vote from the National party, allowing Labour to come to power. As Jones later commented, "I mean, we won them (Labour) the election last time. We split the bloody votes and we handed them a whole heap of seats."
The stage was set for the reforms

The New Right Take Charge
  The Mont Pelerin Society, through MPS member Alan gibbs and through its assets in Treasury led by MPS member Roger Kerr, had cultivated during the early 1980s a group of up-and-coming young Labour politicians, particularly those around Roger Douglas in the Prince Street, Auckland branch of the Labour Party.
  Douglas and his associates represented a radical break with the working class Labour stalwarts who had built the New Zealand economy from the 1890s on, both through their own physical toil and through their political leadership. Douglas, a vitamin pill salesman, was typical of the new, "service sector"-orientated Labour Party. Like the rest of their generation then emerging to political influence  the world, this crowd was hostile to reality-to the agricultural and industrial production upon which New Zealand's living standards and egalitarian outlook had depended.
  Once in power, they set out to rip it apart.
   A key point of the free-market cabal's programme was to devalue the New Zealand dollar, an extremely sensitive issue. Several weeks before the July, 1984 election, Douglas, Labour's shadow finance minister, "accidentally" released a statement which signaled his intent to devalue. Since it was a near certainty that labour, aided by the New Zealand Party's drawing votes from the Nationals, would win, speculators began to dump the New Zealand dollar, planning, post-devaluation, to cash in each dollar of foreign currency for more New Zealand dollars than previously.
   With Labour's victory, the simmering foreign exchange crisis exploded. The Reserve Bank's foreign Exchange holdings quickly ran dry, and Labour demanded, even before the end of the several-week transition period, that Muldoon devalue. After a brief struggle, Muldoon capitulated, and devalued by 20%.
Speculators made tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars overnight.
   But now, in a pattern which was to repeat itself in later elections, the hard-core free-marketeers led by Douglas demanded, in order to deal with the "crisis" which they themselves had created, that Treasury's entire Economic Management plan be implemented. This, it should be noted, was not the programme of the Labour Party, and therefore not the programme that New Zealanders had voted for, but that of the Mont Pelerin cabal, which Douglas et. al. had purposely kept from the electorate. Asked why the deceit, Labour Prime Minister David Lange told SBS TV's dateline programme in 1987, "I guess Roger felt it was worth implementing"-acknowledging that Labours base would never have endorsed such a monstrosity.
   Under cover of "crisis," the cabal moved with such stunning speed, that no one could stop them. As Douglas himself specified his method of ramming through extremely unpopular "reforms" in his book Unfinished business: "Do not try to advance a step at a time. Define your objectives clearly and move towards them in quantum leaps. Otherwise the interest groups will have time to mobilize and drag you down."

The Business Roundtable
   In the fourth Labour Government, real power lay in the hands of Douglas and his two closest associates in the cabinet, Richard Prebble and David Caygill. Prime Minister David Lange was just a figurehead, as New Zealand News financial columnist Warick Berryman told a journalist from the Executive Intelligence Review at the time, "As far as the business community goes, Lange is basically irrelevant. Roger Douglas is running the place. Make no mistake about that. He is doing anything in this country that has any real meaning… Lange's more of a sideshow. He keeps the rabble amused, while Douglas, Prebble and Caygill get on with actually running the place."
   To help implement Douglas' programme, the Labour government called an "economic summit" in 1985, chaired by Sir Ron Trotter, chairman of the Fletcher Challenge corporation. By early the following year, Trotter revamped an existing business group which he chaired, known as the Business Roundtable, to become a high-power lobby for "free market" reforms. And high power it was: firms associated with the Roundtable had a total capitalisation of $15.4 billion, representing 64% of the value of the New Zealand share market! Directors of the Roundtable companies sat on the boards of over 100 other New Zealand corporations.
As the New Zealand Herald of 12 Nov. 1986 observed, about the Roundtables clout: "Among them, these men help control 76% of the country's newspaper circulation, the bulk of the private radio stations, the biggest bank, the biggest exporters of meat and horticultural produce, the biggest rural servicing conglomerate, the three biggest forestry companies, the two biggest supermarket chains, both brewery companies, and a sizeable chunk of the rest of the manufacturing, finance and other sectors."  Very shortly, Roundtable members involved in manufacturing quit in disgust, and the group became a puppet of the finance sector.
   Trotter was its chairman, but the real engine of the Business Roundtable was the former Treasury official who had drafted all the proposed "reforms" in the first place: Roger Kerr. Trotter picked Kerr as the Roundtable's new executive director and installed him in Fletcher Challenge House in Wellington, right across the hall from Trotter's own office.
   Regarding the significance of Kerr's appointment, Prime minister David Lange told the New Zealand Sunday times on 18 January, 1987, that the Roundtable had played down Kerr's appointment because "they're cunning. There is now a well researched, well presented effective business group calling itself the Roundtable and it was an event of some significance that it moved beyond an informal coalition of interests to a structured organization with the appointment of that director, which was a really significant move."
  It certainly was: Roger Kerr was one of only three New Zealand members of the Mont Pelerin Society!
   Through the unceasing torrent of "studies" it commissioned from one Mont Pelerin think tank or another, each of which called for an utter dismantling of the New Zealand economy, including its healthcare and educational systems, Kerr's Business Roundtable quickly became the Mont Pelerin Society's most powerful front group in New Zealand.
And, though it proclaimed its altruism, the Roundtable's individual and corporate members were the overwhelming beneficiaries of the destruction of the economy which they so ferociously advocated.   Firms associated with the Business Roundtable ended up with $12.542 billion of the $15.233 billion in privatised former state assets!
But the Roundtables weren't the only ones to cash in. Many of the cabal of Treasury and Reserve Bank "public servants"who had pushed the changes - like Kerr himself - took up lucrative posts in merchant banks, the new State Owned Enterprises (Shoes), or in the Roundtable itself.  Besides Kerr, a notorious case was his old tutor in economics at Victoria University, Dr. Roderick Deane, who had in fact recommended  his former pupil for the Roundtable post in the first place.  As number two at the Reserve Bank, former IMF official Deane had ceaselessly pushed the IMF/Mont Pelerin agenda.  After  leaving the Reserve bank, Deane in 1986-1987 chaired the State Services Commission, which oversaw the corporatisation/privatisation process of former state assets; in 1997 he was pulling down approximately $1 million a year in salary as the chief executive of one of those privatised assets, the phone system, Telecom.   Meanwhile, another shameless displays of cronyism, the Treasury and the Reserve Bank poured tens of millions of dollars in "consulting fees"into businesses dominated by their former colleagues, for reports on how to further dismantle the economy.
   In 1987, when Labour once again faced election, the Roundtablers poured in the money to keep them in power.  According to the account of Equiticorp's Allan Hawkins, later sent to jail for fraudulently funding his company's purchase of NZ Steel in 1987, he, and at least several other top businessmen, each gave $250,000 to Roger Douglas, personally, to help secure Labour's victory.  The money bought a massive, slick advertising campaign with which Labour overrode the growing discontent with the "reforms", and returned to power.
      Mont Pelerin on the Left.... Mont Pelerin on the Right   
    By 1990, when a population disgusted with being the guinea pigs for the most radical free market experiment in the Western world, clearly intended to kick the Labour Party out of office, the Mont Pelerinites moved to secure their "revolution."                              According to economist David Steele, writing in the March/April 1990 edition of the PSA Journal, shortly before the election, a three man delegation from the Business Roundtable, two of whom were Mont Pelerin members Gibbs and Kerr, met with National Party leader, and soon to be Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, to "request" that Ruth Richardson, a Mont Pelerin asset, be made Finance Minister in his new government. She was, and Mont Pelerins revolution escalated', as Richardson and the Nationals - again, under cover of a "crisis"suddenly discovered by the treasury - rammed through the Mont Pelerin Society programme of "labour market reforms," which even Roger Douglas had not been able to do.   Such "reforms"effectively end trade unionism as it had been known in New Zealand for decades.  Indeed, the infamous Employment Contract Act did not even mention the word "trade union"once.
Mont Pelerin Society member Gibbs, the close friend and early tutor of Roger Douglas in economics, cashed in handsomely on "Rogernomics"; over the years of the "reform" he and the Mont Pelerin Society had imposed on New Zealand, Gibbs' personal wealth had soared from $46 million in 1986 to $200 million  by 1998, making him the 4th richest person in New Zealand at the time.

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