"New Zealand used to be Fortress New Zealand," said Tom Lambie, a milk producer and president of Federated Farmers, a key lobby.
"In 1984, we went broke as a country, and we liberalized."New Zealand's government got out of agriculture and stopped funding growers. "As farmers," Mr. Lambie
added, "we are better off today than we were 20 years ago, and we still are growing.When we had controls and protection, our industry was growing at 1 percent per annum.For the last 20 years, we've grown on average 4 percent per annum.As an agricultural industry, we have increased our percentage of GDP from 15 percent to 17 percent of the total New Zealand economy."Mr. Lambie
noted that while his
wealthy countrymen shopped overseas for what they lacked at home, "Now everyone in New Zealand can afford a range of goods that are sold in New Zealand."