This paper discusses the central features of the process of policy change over the period of the 1980s and early 1990s in New Zealand. The discussion describes the underlying influences which have been identified as motivating the policy adjustments. The New Zealand Treasury came to occupy a pivotal role in policy formulation in the 1980s. The paper argues that the TreasuRy was very successful because of its ability, in part, to build and maintain a network of alliances with business and other interest groups such as the New Zealand Business Roundtable. The events that surrounded proposals for a Takeovers Code in New Zealand, to complement Companies Act legislation, form the basis of a detailed case illustration. The events are theorised following Callon (1986) [in J. Law (Ed.) Power, Action and Belief. London: R.K.P.] and Latour (1987, 1993) [Science in Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press]. This involves applying a framework of interpretation based on the concepts of Latour's sociology of translation. Drawing from Latour helps to provide a frame of reference to allow an assimilation of disparate changes and influences as they have come to effect policy formulation in New Zealand. The themes of the case are related to the concepts of the resurrection of neo-classical economics policies, the related ideas of free-market solutions and methods as part of the process through which areas of knowledge and, in this case particularly, public policy become problematised (Latour, 1987).
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. E-mail: [email protected]
Department of Communication, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
June 1, 2000
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