Roderick Deane is one of the most important figures in recent economic and political history. The New Zealand Herald once called him 'the godfather of New Zealand commerce'. In the past twenty years perhaps only Roger Douglas has played a bigger role in shaping the New Zealand economy. As Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank Deane was at the very heart of the dramatic introduction of Rogernomics. He oversaw the reorganisation of the public service and the formation of state-owned enterprises. He later became Chief Executive of Electricorp, and then of Telecom. Today he chairs several high-profile public companies.
Drawing on interviews and on Deane's personal papers, Michael Bassett and Judith Bassett have created an in-depth portrait of this highly respected and influential man, as well as a convincing portrayal of political and economic life behind the scenes during some of New Zealand's most tumultuous times.
First, a disclaimer. Roderick Deane has been a personal friend and professional colleague since he first taught me economics at Victoria University in 1967. I admire him as a person, and for his enormous contributions to business and government in New Zealand. I hope this association does not bias my views of this book, or that readers will discount them if it does.
Michael Bassett, arguably New Zealand's leading political historian, and his wife Judith have written a book about Roderick Deane's "life and times". The two parts deserve equal emphasis. They had access to Deane's large and orderly collection of personal papers now passed to the Alexander Turnbull Library, as well as to many of the players in New Zealand's recent economic history...
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