The 1980s were turbulent times in New Zealand politics and society. Booms and busts and sharp, disruptive changes in every field of government policy rendered the country almost unrecognizable from previous decades. New Zealanders entered the 1990s unsettled and often deeply pessimistic, only to be pitched into yet more change. Even with the recent improvement in economic indicators, the future remains uncertain and threatening to many. Why did New Zealand change so much in the 1980s? In this book Colin James looks at the influences both within New Zealand and from abroad which destroyed the "prosperity consensus" of the 1950s-70s. He sets what actually happened in the broader context of geopolitics, economic change internationally and underperformance internally, social and racial restructuring, generational shift and administrative failure. He then looks ahead to the potential for a return to secure agreed politics.